By Fan Huang and Coco Shen
A mere day after Wen Jiabao gave no vote of confidence for Bo Xilai’s political future at Wen’s last NPC press conference, Xinhua has released a one-sentence statement confirming that the Chongqing party secretary has been ousted (aka “resigned”) from his position, and has been replaced by Vice-Premier and Politburo member Zhang Dejiang. Predictably, Chinese netizens have been going nuts in the wake of the political death of Bo (current no.1 topic on Weibo!), and we’ve got some of their reactions right here.
@老石是个好同学: Fast, so fast. (快，真快)
@刘海军的围脖: Notice the words “Before today” (the date given in Xinhua’s reporting), it means the decision was already made before the press conference yesterday, Premier Wen was only just shooting the breeze. (注意“日前”二字，说明在昨天的记者会之前就决定了，温总只是吹吹风而已)
@忆通李劲松律师: This is my personal understanding and attitude: 1. Even though Chongqing Bo has been under investigation, his three years of contribution cannot be overlooked! 2. The local governments and Public Security Department should fight against corruption, crony capitalism and dark forces! 3. The local governments and Public Security Department should take citizens’ opinion into account, punish severely corrupted officials in Public Security Department like Wen Qiang, the former deputy director of Public Security Bureau who colluded with other evil officials! (我个人的立场或说态度: 1.重庆薄王虽已出事被查, 但薄王三年来在重庆所作所为绝非一无是处!__2.各地政府和公安机关仍须依法反贪腐权贵资本打黑恶流氓势力!_3.各地政府和公安机关必须正视民心加强依法反贪腐打黑恶力度,严惩各地公安机关内类似原重庆市公安局副局长文强的官恶勾结腐败!)
@飞鸿吾识无影脚: First testing out Article 73 of the law, huh? (先体验刑法新73条吗?) Note: Article 73 officially allows the government to carry out secret detentions and disappearances.
@月冷芯寒: Politics is always above everything! (政治往往高于一切!)
@LHE板式换热器董作强: Big Sigh! (一声叹息啊!)
@繁华落烬1981: If ordinary citizens can wear clothes worth more than 10000RMB, why can’t high-ranking officials? We can’t only focus on what he wears or how he makes his money. (老百姓都能穿10000多的衣服人家高干为什么不呢?不看他穿什么,只看他钱怎么来的)
@Anon: The Central Authority’s power is still great, they focused the netizens topic of conversation from “B-Cover Miniskirt” back to the Two Sessions. (还是中央力量大，又把网民的视线从齐B小短裙拉回纯2会了)
@蝶泳狂人: Why has a leader who advocated people’s rights and common development ended up this way? Chongqing’s change is obvious for us all to see! (为什么提倡人民的权利，共同发展的干股干部落得如此下场？重庆变化有目共睹！)
@有光有诚: He racked his brain, but ended up with nothing. (机关算尽，到头来一场空)
@心有灵犀2011: In Chinese history, no one who challenged central authority ended up well. (从中国历史上看，凡是挑战中央集权的都没有好下场)
@qiaoqiaolang: When Mao Zedong left, Socialism kept developing, when Deng Xiaoping left, Reform and Opening up continued to deepen. With Bo Xilai gone, the future of Chongqing is still bright! (毛泽东去了，社会主义继续发展，邓小平去了，改革开放继续深化，薄督走了，重庆未来仍然一片光明！)
Via @Isaacstonefish: Why don’t the people of Chongqing get to decide if he stays or goes? (为什么不是重庆人民来选择薄熙来的去留?)
@美国公知: The CPC has made some decisions that hurt the supporters and please the haters, judging by those who are celebrating and those who are sorrowful. This is the goal reached by some who used to make great efforts but failed, today they win effortlessly. It is epic in the history of Central Authority, and the turning point of Central Authority from prosperity to decadence. Let’s look back to this history in the near future. (中共做出了一项令亲者痛、仇者快的决定，看看哪些人在庆祝、哪些人在黯然就知道了。这是某些势力近年来费劲功夫却难得、今日却轻而易举达成了的目标。这是中共历史上的一件大事，也是中共由盛转衰的一个转折点。在不久的将来，让我们回望这段历史吧)
@金堰小林通: Bo Xilai isn’t also going to get “Vacation-style medical treatment” is he! (薄熙来不会也“休假式治疗“吧！)
@低调滴80后: Since the establishment of the PRC, there is never a large-scale collective demonstration against government corruption. How “powerful” government “self-regulation” is! This alone is a “cosmic miracle”! (新中国成立至今没有一次争对政府腐败现象的大规模集体示威游行,我们的政府”调控”能力多么的”强大”啊!光这一点已经堪称”宇宙奇迹”)
@_婷姐姐姐姐姐姐: I think only Chongqing people are qualified to comment on Wang and Bo’s contribution, those outsiders use their imagination and think they can be famous, aren’t they a little sick? (我想应该只有重庆人才有资格评价王和薄在重庆做了多少贡献，那些外人靠想象就觉得他们只会唱红的，是不是太有病了点)
@mranti: What’s going to happen to Sima Nan? (司马南以后怎么办？) Note: Pundit Sima Nan espoused similar old-school Red Socialist values as Bo Xilai.
@一元主人: Contribution or crime has been commented on for a thousand years, the history will tell the truth. (千秋功罪后人评说，历史自有功论)
@hnjhj: After Bo Xilai’s public statement on March 10th, he hasn’t appeared in public. It could be his scandal irritates the public authority, or Bo realized at that time that his fate is irreversible, so he fought back for one last time. (薄熙来3月10日讲话之后就没有再露面，可能是他强硬指责有人向他家泼脏水的讲话最终激怒了中央，亦有可能是当时薄已经意识到自己下台的命运不可挽回而选择进行最后一搏)
Meanwhile on Twitter, Tea Leaf Nation claims thousands of Weibs on Bo Xilai are already disappearing, while Gady Epstein of The Economist makes the Shakespearean reference to Bo being ousted on the Ides of March.
Unsurprisingly, Bo’s former right-hand man Wang Lijun has also been officially relieved of his duties. Netizens have have also uncovered the fact that Bo’s replacement Zhang Dejiang graduated with a degree in economics from none other than Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung University.
This ouster of course means that Bo Xilai’s bid to become a member of the Politburo Standing Committee is effectively shot to shit, thanks to Wang Lijun’s attempted defection and playing stool pigeon to rat out his old boss, who formerly had enough clout to embody a political philosophy unto himself.
Update: Zhang Dejiang is now (allegedly) on Twitter! (h/t @niubi)
— Zhang Dejiang (@DejiangZhang) March 15, 2012
For background on the Bo Xilai and Wang Lijun saga, check out our previous posts on the story below.
Chongqing’s gang-busting vice mayor put on medical leave as defection rumors fly
Chongqing propaganda office sends out cryptic tweet
Chongqing media do an about-face on Bo Xilai
Wang Lijun now branded a traitor by Beijing
WHOA! Did Bo Xilai just offer to resign from the Politburo?