If it were a mere case of corruption, embezzlement and abuse of power, the sentence appears a little harsh as there are no doubt many worse perpetrators who, so far, remain scot-free.
But then, much, much more is at stake. If someone has dared to scuttle the entire ship for his own gain, it is little wonder that all, whether friend or foe, would agree that the fellow should best be under lock and key for a little while.
Make no mistake. Bo's sudden denial of all charges at the eleventh hour was not an indication that a relatively lenient sentence was likely, as some pundits had surmised. Hence the surprise in some quarters at the verdict as it turned out.
Bo's about-turn in detention was an indication that he had probably got wind of the likely harsh sentence and decided he might as well deny the main charges and try to divert attention by harping on his "love triangle" story. That way, he would be able to create an image of political persecution which may serve him well.
This is the stuff of Hollywood high drama, Chinese-style. You may wish to access the following for the political intrigue that went behind the scene -
"The Curious Case of Bo Xilai - Part II" here and "Trial of Bo Xilai - what is it all about?" here
Be that as it may, the Bo Xilai affair has now focused the mind of the entire leadership, that unless corruption of power and money is rooted out, the Party would be in great peril. Hence, Alexis de Tocquerville's "French Revolution" has been rumored to be doing the rounds in the top leadership. Indeed, the Chinese translation has become a national best-seller.
But Tocquerville's tome was also about how lofty ideals of the Revolution became forgotten and corrupted over time. President's Xi's appeal to the Party's old revolutionary roots of caring and working for the masses is no attempt to turn the clock back, but to explore a way forward, as the country is rapidly changing with a rising and more educated and enlightened middle-class.
Hence, the top leadership's launch of an across-the-board "Long March" against corruption, including recent cases involving a numebr of high-profile global companies. Click here Read "Could this be the political reform Xi would kick-start?" here