China police chief may seek U.S. asylum
Wang Lijun, a crusading lawman who made his name busting crime gangs and inspired a drama on state TV, has taken leave to recover from anxiety and overwork, the city government of Chongqing said in a statement Wednesday.
Wang, who also is a vice mayor of Chongqing, was shifted out of his role as police chief last week, prompting speculation of a falling-out with the city’s powerful Communist Party secretary, BO Xilai, who is widely believed to be seeking national office.
The police chief may have fallen out of favor because his 2008-2010 crackdown on criminal gangs strayed from standard procedures and clashed with the central government’s current campaign to strengthen the rule of law, Beijing-based political analyst Li Fan said.
Days of speculation about his situation spiked Wednesday with online reports that he sought asylum at the American consulate in the nearby southwestern city of Chengdu on Tuesday after quarelling with Bo.