The dismissal and subsequent trial of Bo Xilai created a shockwave throughout China in 2013. He was widely considered a likely candidate for promotion to the elite Politburo Standing Committee in China's 18th National Congress in 2012. However, his political fortune came to an abrupt end after his top lieutenant and police chief Wang Lijun sought asylum at the American consulate in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.
Further complicating the matter was the death of British businessman Neil Heywood in November 2011, who allegedly shared a close personal relationship with Gu Kailai, Bo's wife. When a business dispute occurred and Heywood threatened to expose the Bo Family's business dealings and overseas assets, he was allegedly poisoned by Gu and an assistant. Gu was later given a suspended death sentence.
In the fallout, Bo was removed as the party chief of Chongqing, Sichuan Province, in March 2012. He was later stripped of all his party positions, lost his seat at the National People's Congress, and was eventually expelled from the party. On 22 September 2013, Bo was found guilty of corruption, stripped of all his assets, and sentenced to life imprisonment.
An excellent martial arts novel, Storm from the Southwest is based on the fall of Bo and explores the significant impact the event has had on the contemporary Chinese politics.