Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Another step downward for Zhou Yongkang

Zhou's name has appeared occasionally in this blog since 2007. (Search for Zhou in the search box to the right of the blog.) A few months ago, he was under investigation. Now, he's been expelled from the Communist Party and arrested.

China Arrests Ex-Security Chief, Zhou Yongkang, in Corruption Case
Zhou Yongkang
Zhou Yongkang, the once-feared head of China’s domestic security, has been expelled from the Communist Party and arrested, the official state news agency announced early Saturday, disclosing a barrage of charges that included bribetaking, helping family members and cronies plunder government assets, and leaking official secrets.

The announcement signaled the biggest move so far in President Xi Jinping’s two-year campaign to curb graft and malfeasance in the party hierarchy…

[T]he charges now revealed against Mr. Zhou also appear likely to alarm people, because they suggest that China’s police and other domestic security agencies were controlled by a deeply corrupt politician.

The investigators found that Mr. Zhou “exploited his position to obtain unlawful gains for multiple people, and directly or indirectly through his family took massive bribes,” the Xinhua report said.

In addition, the report said, Mr. Zhou “exploited his powers to help relatives, mistresses and friends make massive earnings through their business activities, creating massive losses for state-owned assets.”

Mr. Zhou also disclosed party and state secrets and traded favors and money for sex with multiple women, the report said…

An investigation by The New York Times documented that Mr. Zhou’s son, a sister-in-law and his son’s mother-in-law held assets worth about 1 billion renminbi, or $160 million, much of it in the oil and gas industries.

In China, criminal investigations of officials on corruption charges usually only start after party investigators have finished their inquiry. Mr. Zhou is now exceedingly unlikely to escape trial, conviction and a heavy prison sentence.

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