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Tags: china | expels | security | chief

China Party Expels Former Security Chief for Leaks and Graft

Friday, 05 December 2014 01:30 PM EST

China’s Communist Party expelled former security chief Zhou Yongkang, accusing him of leaking official secrets in addition to expected graft allegations.

Zhou’s expulsion was decided at a meeting of the Communist Party’s Central Committee’s Political Bureau yesterday, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported shortly after midnight today. Zhou has been formerly arrested and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate started investigating his suspected crimes, according to Xinhua.

The investigation found Zhou “seriously violated the Party’s political, organizational and confidentiality discipline,” Xinhua said, citing a government statement. Zhou abused his powers to help his friends make profits and accepted “huge bribes” personally and through his family, it said.

Any trial of Zhou, a former member of the party’s top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee, will be a showcase event in President Xi Jinping’s efforts to bolster his power base and curb the corruption that he’s warned could erode the party’s power. Ahead of the announcement in July that Zhou was under investigation, an 18-month campaign against officials and businessmen associated with him saw cadres across China being taken for questioning and held incommunicado without trial, often for months.

Highest Official

Zhou, 71, is the highest-level official to fall in China’s bid to sweep away both “tigers and flies” in the anti-graft campaign. In September 2012, the party evicted Zhou’s ally, former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, who was convicted of abuse of power and bribery in 2013 in a public trial and sentenced to life in jail.

“We need to advance the anti-corruption drive through the investigation of Zhou’s serious violations of Party discipline,” Peoples’ Daily wrote in an unsigned commentary dated Dec. 6. “We must stick to the attitude of no tolerance, the resolve of strong treatment, the courage to scrape poison from the bones, and the measure of severe punishment.”

Zhou allegedly leaked Communist Party and government secrets, Xinhua said, without giving details. He also abused his power to help relatives, mistresses and friends do business, obtaining “huge” profits and causing the loss of state-owned assets, Xinhua reported.

Zhou is also accused of committing adultery with a number of women, and there’s evidence of his having committed additional crimes, Xinhua said, without elaborating.

‘Exhibit A’

“Any trial after the party plenum could become Exhibit A illustrating how the new rule of law emphasis will be carried out,” Jerome Cohen, a law professor at New York University, said before the announcement. The current system “makes it impossible for Zhou to have a fair trial before an independent, impartial tribunal,” Cohen said.

A member of the Standing Committee until November 2012, Zhou hasn’t been seen in public since October last year. Xi’s campaign against corruption had already targeted dozens of people with connections to Zhou’s various power bases including China’s oil industry, where Zhou spent three decades and rose to lead state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. in the 1990s.

The Communist Party Central Committee’s fourth plenary session, which ran between Oct 20-23 in Beijing, approved the stripping of party membership of six officials and formally expelled them from the committee. Four of them were linked to the Zhou Yongkang case.

Officials Expelled

Jiang Jiemin, previously CNPC’s chairman, and Li Dongsheng, former deputy minister of public security, were formally expelled from the Central Committee, which has more than 350 members and alternate members. Both Jiang and Li who have ties to Zhou, have been formally charged with corruption and face trial.

Li Chuncheng, former deputy party chief of Sichuan province, and Wang Yongchun, former CNPC deputy general manager -- who both have links to Zhou -- were stripped of their alternate membership of the committee.

Three alternate members, Ma Jiantang, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, Wang Zuoan, chief of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, and Mao Wanchun, Shaanxi provincial party standing committee member, were promoted to full membership of the committee at the plenum that closed on Oct. 23.


© Copyright 2023 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

China's Communist Party expelled former security chief Zhou Yongkang, accusing him of leaking official secrets in addition to expected graft allegations. Zhou's expulsion was decided at a meeting of the Communist Party's Central Committee's Political Bureau yesterday,...
china, expels, security, chief
Friday, 05 December 2014 01:30 PM
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