Rumors of a Corruption Probe Swirl Around China’s Former Security Czar

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Nelson Ching / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Zhou Yongkang, China's former top security official, attends a plenary session on the draft amendment to the criminal-procedure law in Beijing on March 8, 2012

It doesn’t help that Zhou Yongkang, China’s ex-security czar, looks like an archetypal movie villain, with his slicked-back hair and steely-set jaw. For months, untoward rumors have swirled around the nation’s former supreme policeman, especially after Zhou’s associate, former Politburo member Bo Xilai, was purged last year. On Aug. 30 the Hong Kong–based South China Morning Post, expanding on claims made earlier by Chinese exile websites, reported that China’s current leadership has signed off on investigating Zhou for alleged corruption.

If a probe into Zhou’s controversial career does go forward, it would be the first such action against a member of China’s ruling inner circle in more than three decades. Until late last year, Zhou was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the nation’s leadership clique.

(MORE: Meet the Men Who Will Rule China)

The current Standing Committee, which was unveiled last November, is now commanded by General Secretary Xi Jinping. China’s new leader has made tackling official corruption one of his signature campaigns. Even as skepticism mounts over whether the Communist Party is truly committed to weeding out endemic graft, Xi has vowed to capture everyone from humble “flies,” or low-ranking officials, to “tigers,” or top leaders. Zhou, who helped construct the nation’s security state through a $110 billion budget that officially surpasses that of the Chinese military, would be a mighty tiger indeed.

In recent weeks, the Chinese Communist Party’s judicial arm has circled ever closer to Zhou. On Aug. 26, the trial of Bo, the former Chongqing party chief, concluded; a guilty verdict on charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power is expected soon. A number of former officials in Sichuan province, which Zhou once helmed, have also been locked up. This week, the Chinese government announced that high-ranking executives from China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), the nation’s biggest state-owned energy company, were being investigated, including one for “gross violation of party discipline,” often a code word for corruption. Guess whose former job included helping oversee CNPC? That would be Comrade Zhou.

Now 70, Zhou retired from the Standing Committee last year because of an age limit. At first, it seemed a convenient way to allow an unpopular party elder to exit the inner sanctum. But if Zhou is being pursued by the party because of the fortune his family has allegedly accrued through illegal means, according to the South China Morning Post, then his gray hair — albeit still dyed a shiny black, as is customary for Chinese senior leaders — may not save him. Chalk one up for Hollywood casting.

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11 comments

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jefforsythe9
jefforsythe9

The brutal gangster regime known as the Chinese Communist Party has murdered eighty million of its own people since 1949 and since 1999 has been attempting the genocide of tens of millions of innocent Falun Gong practitioners by the use of torture, slavery, organ harvesting and murder. Zhou is just another murderer who might have been in cahoots with Bo in a attempt to overthrow Xi. The power hungry CCP would never admit the truth to its brainwashed people.

zhuxinhe
zhuxinhe

@jefforsythe9 I can only tell you that your undstanding about China is not right at all.

jefforsythe9
jefforsythe9

@zhuxinhe@jefforsythe9

This article was in the Montana Chronicle a few days ago:  It is almost too dreadful to believe, it was first revealed in 2006 when a woman claimed that as many as 4,000 Falun Gong practitioners had been killed for their organs at the hospital where she worked. Her husband was a surgeon and disclosed to her that he removed corneas from the living bodies of 2,000 Falun Gong practitioners. (Falun Dafa is a traditional Chinese self-improvement practice of mental and physical wellness through meditation and gentle exercises. The core teaching principles are Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance).In response, congressional resolution H.RES.281 was recently introduced by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Congressman Robert Andrews, D-N.J. The resolution expresses concern over persistent and credible reports of systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience in China, including from large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned for their beliefs, as well as numbers of other religious and ethnic minority groups.

If you would like to gain an insight into the true nature of the brutal Chinese Communist Part you may go online and read The Nine Commentaries. Thank you.

dparker2047
dparker2047

if he's being investigated for illegal family fortune, wouldn't 90% of communist china's government fall under investigation?

duduong
duduong

Xi himself does not look like a Hollywood hero at all, but he turns out to be an idealistic patriot, just like his father. The fact that he can rise to the top speaks very well about the future of the Chinese Communist Party and the China under its rule.

owentang
owentang

 If it isso ,that would be a big news for the whole China after the Bo's fair!!!