Chongqing official met with US diplomats; undergoing "vacation-style therapy"

Chongqing official met with US diplomats; undergoing "vacation-style therapy"

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Wang Lijun, a close associate of Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai, was said by the local government to be undergoing "vacation-style therapy," leading to speculation about his dissapearance and the prospects of Bo's promotion, the Financial Times reported. Wang, a former police chief of Chongqing who led the city's high-profile gang-busting campaign that raised the political credentials of Bo, had his portfolio reassigned last week from police duties to economic issues including sanitation, athletics and education. Police were spotted outside of the US consulate in Chengdu, triggering rumors that Wang had sought asylum. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told Bloomberg yesterday that Wang requested a meeting which took place earlier this week, adding that Wang “left the consulate of his own volition.” “Wang took the opportunity of a university event to flee in disguise to the US consulate in Chengdu” said one anonymous internet user on Sina Weibo. Wang’s reassignment and meeting with foreign diplomats may hurt the political prospects of Bo, a member of the ruling Communist Party’s 25-person Politburo, said Li Cheng of the Brookings Institution.