Bo Guagua, the son of disgraced politician Bo Xilai, is reported to be preparing for his first year at New York’s Columbia Law School. Bo Xilai is currently being charged in China with bribery, abuse of power, and corruption, in what is being described as one of the modern China’s biggest political scandals, but Bop Guagua, who has lived in the United States for several years, is attempting to keep a low profile while pursuing his education.
In 2011, Bo Xilai was forced out of power after he and his wife, Gu Kailai, were implicated in the death of their longtime business liaison, Neil Heywood. Gu was convicted of the murder last year, and incidents stemming from Heywood’s death by poisoning brought down Bo Xilai’s political dynasty that had made numerous positive changes to Chongqing. Bo Xilai was removed from political office last year, and later the Communist Party, and could face charges in the Chinese Supreme Court as soon as this month.
Though his parents are capturing headlines in China, the 25 year-old Bo Guagua is seeking to distance himself from his family and maintain a low-profile while focusing on academic studies in the United States. After earning his undergraduate degree in Britain, Bo Guagua completed a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University in May 2012.
Since graduating from Harvard, Bo Guagua remained in Boston, where Reuters reports that he was present near the finish line of this year’s Boston Marathon. (He was not injured while waiting for friend’s to finish the race.) Shortly before the bombs were set off at the marathon, Bo Guagua told reporters that he had not spoken to either of his parents in more than year.
A recently released Columbia school directory includes Bo Guagua as an incoming law student for this fall’s semester. Orientation for the incoming class begins next month, and sources at the school say that Bo Guagua will not be leaving the program to attend his father’s trial.
Though he has distanced himself from his parents, the incoming law student’s friends say that the negativity directed towards his parents is unduly harsh, but that he does not want to speak publicly about their issues.