Ousted Chinese Leader Is Said to Have Spied on Other Top Officials
The story of how China’s president was monitored also shows the level of mistrust among leaders in the one-party state. To maintain control over society, leaders have embraced enhanced surveillance technology. But some have turned it on one another - repeating patterns of intrigue that go back to the beginnings of Communist rule. “This society has bred mistrust and violence,” said Roderick MacFarquhar, a historian of Communist China’s elite-level machinations over the past half century. “Leaders know you have to watch your back because you never know who will put a knife in it.”
Nearly a dozen people with party ties, speaking anonymously for fear of retribution, confirmed the wiretapping, as well as a widespread program of bugging across Chongqing. But the party’s public version of Mr. Bo’s fall omits it. The official narrative and much foreign attention has focused on the more easily grasped death of Mr. Heywood in November. When Mr. Bo’s police chief, Wang Lijun, was stripped of his job and feared being implicated in Bo family affairs, he fled to the United States Consulate in Chengdu, where he spoke mostly about Mr. Heywood’s death. The murder account is pivotal to the scandal, providing Mr. Bo’s opponents with an unassailable reason to have him removed. But party insiders say the wiretapping was seen as a direct challenge to central authorities...