Ling was one of the highest-profile targets (next to Zhou Yongkang and Xu Caihou) of the anti-corruption campaign following the 18th Party Congress spearheaded by Party General secretary Xi Jinping and central discipline chief Wang Qishan. He was the second sitting "national leader"-level figure to be investigated by the party's anti-graft agency, after CPPCC Vice-Chairman Su Rong. Chinese-language media have linked Ling to a mysterious political network composed of prominent politicians and businesspeople with origins in Shanxi called the Xishan Society.
Ling rose to become the Director of the General Office, an organ that handles day-to-day logistics and bureaucratic functions of the Communist Party, in 2007, when Hu was the party's General Secretary (i.e., paramount leader). He was initially seen as a promising candidate for promotion to the top leadership at the 18th Party Congress in 2012. However, his political fortunes abruptly took a turn when his 23-year-old son was killed while driving a Ferrari in 2012, an event that caused embarrassment for the party elite. Ling was then politically sidelined.
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Throughout Hu Jintao's leadership, Ling accompanied Hu on trips abroad and was often seen with Hu on inspection visits around the country. As one of Hu Jintao's closest associates and most trusted advisors, in addition to being of an appropriate level of seniority, Ling seemed long destined for higher office. Ling's political fortunes, however, took an abrupt turn in 2012. On March 18, Ling's only son, then 23-Year old Ling Gu, was involved and killed in a car crash on Beijing's 4th Ring Road while driving a black Ferrari 458 Spider accompanied by two women, reportedly of minority ethnic background, who survived. Ling Gu was said to have been found naked, and the women were described as either naked or otherwise "scantily clad," which seemed to suggest sexual activity while driving. While this account was later disputed, the widely discussed "Ferrari crash" was juicy tabloid fodder and exacerbated public cynicism over the debauchery and conspicuous consumption often associated with children of the Communist ruling elite.
Sub-10 nm nanoparticles (NPs) of M(II)-substituted magnetite MxFe3-xO4 (MxFe1-xO•Fe2O3) (M = Mn, Fe, Co, Cu) were synthesized and studied as electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in 0.1 M KOH solution. Loaded on commercial carbon support, these MxFe3-xO4 NPs showed the M(II)-dependent ORR catalytic activities with MnxFe3-xO4 being th...