BEIJING – When Gu Kailai, wife of disgraced Chinese leader Bo Xilai, is sent to prison following her murder conviction, she's likely to end up in an exclusive jail that has cells with sofas and private bathrooms.
Tucked in the hills an hour's drive north of Beijing, Qincheng Prison has for five decades housed miscreants from the political elite: purged Communist Party rivals, corrupt politicians, and leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy movement.
Treatments for its prisoners have varied by political ranks and changed over the decades. Those who spent time in Qincheng (pronounced CHIN-CHUNG) have recalled sizeable cells, break time, and access to books and television, although security remained tight.
The better conditions in Qincheng underscore how the Chinese elite take care of their own, even in disgrace.