Bo Xilai investigation and school bus regulations
China Youth Daily is a popular newspaper under the auspices of the Communist Youth League of China that claims a circulation of around 800,000. The largest headline on today’s front page is that the State Council has formally released new school bus safety regulations. The regulations stipulate that a school bus cannot drive faster than 80 km/h on a highway, 60 km/h on other roads, and 20 km/hr on narrow roads or in bad driving conditions, and all school bus drivers must have a proper license. Fines for improper driving, badly maintained vehicles or other safety infractions are set at up to 5,000 yuan for drivers and up to 100,000 yuan for organizations that own the bus. Severe but unspecified penalties are also stipulated for county and local government officials and leaders in charge of districts where school bus accidents happen.
School bus safety has been a topic of public concern and controversy in China since an overloaded school bus in Gansu Province crashed on November 16, 2011, killing 19 school children. On November 25, an announcement that the Chinese government was donating 23 brand new school buses to Macedonia caused outrage on the Internet.
A smaller headline on the front page is “Firmly Support the Correct Decisions of the Party’s Central Committee.” The article describes how the Central Committee of the CPC has launched an investigation against Bo Xilai, the once-prominent boss of Chongqing whose booting out of the politburo was announced late Tuesday night April 10. According to the article, the Ministry of Public Security believes he has broken serious Party policies, possibly in connection with the suspected murder of English businessman, Neil Heywood. The article stresses that laws must be obeyed and corruption will not be tolerated.
Links and sources:
China Youth Daily: 让校车驶上安全通道, 坚决拥护党中央的正确决定
Shanghaiist: Bo Xilai sacked from Politburo, wife detained for suspected homicide of Neil Heywood (summary of whole affair with links to English language reports)
Global Voices: China, Macedonia: Chinese Netizens Outraged by School Bus Donation
*Corrections: this article originally stated Bo Xilai was under investigation for braking laws. This has been amended. He is being investigated for breaking Party policy.