In a Straits Times story examining Guangdong Party Secretary Wang Yang’s high-profile media presence since the Bo Xilai scandal, Jamestown Foundation Senior Fellow Willy Lam said "Wang has reason to be happy or a bit exuberant because his ideological opponent is politically dead."
The story, entitled "With Bo Gone, Rival Grabs the Limelight" (Straits Times, May 17), highlighted the old rivalry between Bo and Wang as well as their different approaches to governance and the role of the state. Wang may count as a reformer, because he does not see the Chinese Communist Party as a source of happiness for the people and favors a broader private sector role in China’s economy.
Wang, however, has not remained quiet to lobby for his promotion at the 18th Party Congress this fall. Wang’s positions, seemingly at odds with the CCP mainstream, may not be as risky as they might appear. The Straits Times quoted Willy Lam as saying "I believe his entry to the Politburo Standing Committee is secure, so there is little risk (in speaking). There is a 90 per cent chance that Wang Yang will get in."