Flashing a Red Card

Guoji Shangbao / Imaginechina / AP

Shooting star Highflyer Bo Xilai crashed to earth

The senior official from Chongqing, China's largest metropolis, suddenly looked uneasy. It was last summer, and I had just asked him about "red culture," the drive by Bo Xilai, Chongqing's now disgraced party boss, to instill revolutionary fervor in citizens by singing patriotic songs and reading communist classics. Given that Bo had, according to the official, "turned red culture into Chongqing's calling card to the world," it was surprising that he then proceeded to stumble on what the controversial campaign actually meant. By the time he finished his convoluted explanation, I had learned red culture included not only communist...

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