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Bo Xilai scandal 'hurt China's national image'


A scandal that toppled one of China's most powerful politicians dealt a heavy blow to the reputation of the nation and its ruling Communist Party, a senior official said yesterday, in an unusually candid appraisal of China's messiest political upheaval in years.

Zhang Dejiang, who replaced the disgraced Bo Xilai as leader of the south-western city of Chongqing, said the Bo case "brought serious damage to the image of the country and the party."

Mr Bo was dismissed in March after his former police chief fled to a US consulate and divulged suspicions that Mr Bo's wife had been involved in the death last November of Neil Heywood, a British businessman.