Harvard Kennedy School student Bo Guagua corresponded with Crimson staff writers Hana N. Rouse and Justin C. Worland on Tuesday via his Kennedy School and Google email accounts and sent The Crimson a statement, which is published verbatim below.
To Whom It May Concern:
Recently, there has been increasing attention from the press on my private life. As a result of these speculations, I feel responsible to the public to provide an account of the facts. I am deeply concerned about the events surrounding my family, but I have no comments to make regarding the ongoing investigation. It is impossible to address all of the rumours and allegations about myself, but I will state the facts regarding some of the most pertinent claims.
• My tuition and living expenses at Harrow School, University of Oxford and Harvard University were funded exclusively by two sources—scholarships earned independently, and my mother’s generosity from the savings she earned from her years as a successful lawyer and writer.
• My examination records have been solid throughout my schooling years. In the British public examination of GCSEs, which I completed at the age of 16, I achieved 11 ‘A Stars,’ whereas the necessary requirement is no more than 9 and ‘A’ grades are considered good marks. I also earned straight A’s for both AS level and A-level Examinations at the ages of 17 and 18, respectively.
• At the University of Oxford, I studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics. I was a ‘tripartite’, being enrolled in all three subjects, rather than dropping one in the second year, as is the norm. Upon graduating, I earned a 2:1 degree (Second Class, First Honours) overall and achieved a First in Philosophy.
• During my time at Oxford, it is true that I participated in ‘Bops,’ a type of common Oxford social event, many of which are themed. These events are a regular feature of social life at Oxford and most students take part in these college-wide activities.
• Like many other university students, I also devoted time and energy to extra-curricular activities. For example, I debated in the Oxford Union and served as president of the Politics, Philosophy and Economics Society. These extra-curricular activities enabled me to broaden my perspective, serve the student community, and experience all that Oxford has to offer. I am proud to have been the first mainland Chinese student to be elected to the Standing Committee of the Oxford Union, and I truly value the close friendships I formed with my fellow students.
• I have never lent my name to nor participated in any for-profit business or venture, in China or abroad. However, I have been involved in developing a not-for-profit social networking website in China, the aim of which is to assist NGOs in raising awareness of their social missions and connecting with volunteers. This initiative has been based out of the Harvard Innovation Lab, with the participation of fellow students and friends. The project remains in the development stage and is not live.
• I have never driven a Ferrari. I have also not been to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing since 1998 (when I obtained a previous U.S. Visa), nor have I ever been to the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in China. Even my student Visas were issued by the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, which is closer to my home of five years.
I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank my teachers, friends and classmates for their support during this difficult time. In particular, I wish to thank the Harvard Kennedy School for the support it has extended to me as a member of its community. I understand that at the present, the public interest in my life has not diminished. However, I wholeheartedly request that members of the press kindly refrain from intruding into the lives of my teachers, friends and classmates.
—Staff writer Hana N. Rouse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
—Staff writer Justin C. Worland can be reached at email@example.com.