By Christopher K. Johnson, former CIA analyst now based at CSIS. From the article:
So while Bo’s particular brand of charisma may have been a bridge too far, this is when China needs dynamic leadership most. As highlighted in a February World Bank study, China may well be facing another key inflection point and will require a new wave of economic reforms, such as commercializing the banking sector and redefining the state’s role in the economy, or risk increasing the likelihood of a hard landing. But it will take an empowered and proactive new leadership to implement such an agenda over the strong resistance of powerful vested interests such as sprawling state firms and entrenched local officials.
Instead, what Beijing has, and what is on display in the Bo case, is a stovepiped bureaucracy that strains to present a unified face to its people and the world. The problem is that an effective remedy would involve substantial structural changes to a system in which key players, such as the Chinese military, seek to advance their parochial interests by exploiting the gaps that pervade the current Leninist structure and which breed poor policy coordination. Extensive corruption also has filled the vacuum left by the demise of ideology, and the leadership has fostered a top-down decision-making culture that discourages competing ideas and punishes any public hint of disagreement within the party’s senior ranks.