China drops senior party official over Ferrari crash

Featured - September 4th, 2012

President Hu Jintao’s top aide saw his political career crashing into a wall, reminiscent of the black Ferrari that allegedly killed his son, as investigations finally lifted the curtain that shrouded the crash from public scrutiny.

According to the Financial Times, Ling Jihua, a senior ally of Hu, was removed from his powerful post as head of the party’s general office of the central committee. Ling had been eyeing a promotion to the politburo. A retired party official said: “The central leadership decided that the scandal over the incident was too serious to allow Ling Jihua to be promoted, and Hu Jintao really couldn’t resist”. China, in a crucial time ahead of its once-in-a-decade leadership transition, is sensitive to perceptions that senior party officials’ children are privileged due to their wealth and power. China blocked the keyword “Ferrari” from search engines, Global Times reported.

South China Morning Post identified the driver as Ling Gu, Ling Jihua’s son, but the dead man was identified as Ling Jia on his death certificate, reportedly as part of a cover-up. Reports said the speeding black Ferrari 458 Spider was split into two when it crashed into a wall in Beijing’s North Fourth Ring Road. The man was half-naked while one of the two women thrown from the vehicle was naked.