A top lieutenant to Chinese President Hu Jintao has been shifted to a lesser position because of "a lurid new scandal" involving the fiery crash of his son's Ferrari in March, The Associated Press writes.
According to the AP:
"Ling Jihua was named as the new head of the United Front Work Department and his old job as director of the general office of the Communist Party's central committee was given to Li Zhanshu — thought to be a close ally of Xi Jinping, the man tapped to the China's next president. As head of the executive office, Li will be responsible for personnel arrangements for the party's top leaders. A comparable position in U.S. politics is the president's chief of staff."
Much about the March 18 high-speed crash in Beijing is still unknown, including whether Ling Gu — the son — is or is not dead. Much of the scandal centers on how someone has managed to keep secret just what happened.
Stories have surfaced in China, most recently in Monday's South China Morning Post (paywall protected) that — as Business Insider writes — "the younger Ling and his two female passengers were 'in a state of undress' in the two-seater at the time of the crash."
Time magazine adds that "in early June, Boxun, a website that is run by a Chinese émigré in the U.S., reported that the trio in the car, one of whom it identified as Ling's son, were engaged in sex games before the wreck."
As Reuters notes, in recent weeks China has also "been rocked by the biggest political scandal in two decades — the sacking of Bo Xilai, an ambitious senior politician whose wife recently received a suspended death sentence for the murder of a British businessman in a case that also involved a mix of money and power." Now, The Guardian says, "the high-speed crash has shed further light on the lifestyles of those around the Communist leadership."
Some Two-Way readers might recall we've previously posted about another mishap involving a Ferrari: Most Expensive Pileup Ever? High-Price Cars Crash In Japan.