Ling Jihua 令计划 had been an aspirant to the Party’s top leadership before his son Ling Gu 令谷 crashed a Ferrari in Beijing in March 2012, killing himself and one of the two young women with him (see the China Story Yearbook 2013: Civilising China, Information Window ‘Black Ferrari, Red Ferrari’, p.166). In the wake of the tragedy, which raised a number of questions (including how Ling’s son had been able to afford the car), Ling Jihua was removed from his post as the chief of the General Office of the Communist Party’s Central Committee and appointed head of the United Front Work Department 统一战线工作部 instead.
Forum: Begging to Differ
For twenty-four days in March and April 2014, student activists occupied Taiwan’s parliament, the Legislative Yuan 立法院. The Sunflower Student Movement 太陽花學運, which successfully combined traditional forms of protest like the sit-in with viral campaigns on social media, captured the world’s attention. Using technology such as the smartphone, the students created a politically savvy ‘multi-platform’ protest movement that has had a profound effect on Taiwan politics.