Oxford graduate Bo Guagua has defended his allegedly extravagant lifestyle following “increasing attention from the press”.
Bo’s mother, the wife of a Communist party chief Bo Xilai, was named as “highly suspected” in an investigation into the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.
In an open letter to The Crimson, Harvard University’s newspaper, where Bo is currently a student, Bo said he is “deeply concerned about the events surrounding my family”, but made no further comments on the investigation.
The case sparked interest from press all over the world in Guagua’s private life, and he addressed the “rumours and allegations” that surround his time as a student in his letter Guagua denied rumours that he didn’t take his education seriously, stating that he achieved 11 A*s at GCSE, straight As in his AS and A-Level exams, and confirming that he graduated with a 2:1 in PPE from Balliol in 2010.
He commented, “My tuition and living expenses at Harrow School, University of Oxford and Harvard University were funded exclusively by two sources – academic scholarships, and my mother’s savings.”
Guagua went on to elaborate on his non-academic life at Oxford, saying, “It is true that I participated in ‘Bops,’ a type of common Oxford social event, many of which are themed. These events are a regular feature of social life at Oxford and most students take part in these college-wide activities.
“I debated in the Oxford Union and served as president of the Politics, Philosophy and Economics Society. These extra-curricular activities enabled me to broaden my perspective, serve the student community, and experience all that Oxford has to offer. I am proud to have been the first mainland Chinese student to be elected to the Standing Committee of the Oxford Union, and I truly value the close friendships I formed with my fellow students.”
Guagua also denied reports that he had picked up the then-Chinese ambassador Jon Huntsman’s daughter from the ambassador’s residence in a Ferrari. He insisted, “I have never driven a Ferrari. I have also not been to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing since 1998…nor have I ever been to the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in China.’
One student told Cherwell, “It looks to me that the media are desperately trying to dig up some more dirt on the Bo family for a good story. He seems to have behaved pretty well for a young student with so much money at his fingertips. You hear much worse stories about the behavior of privileged students here.”
Guagua also stated that he wished to ‘sincerely thank my teachers, friends and classmates for their support during this difficult time’, and requested that ‘members of the press kindly refrain from intruding into the lives of my teachers, friends and classmates.’