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Zhou Yongkang: China's fallen security tsar

July 30, 2014 13:42 IST

Zhou Yongkang: China's fallen security tsar

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China has put its former security chief Zhou Yongkang under investigation. One of the nine most senior politicians in China till 2012, he is now faces corruption charges.  

In a major clean-up drive after launching a probe against retired top leader Zhou Yongkang, the ruling Communist Party of China ordered arrest of his son and initiated action against a host of officials, including six anti-graft officials for dereliction of duty.

Zhou Yongkang, the ninth-ranking member of the nine-member standing committee headed by former President Hu Jintao which ruled the country till last year was formally placed under investigation by the CPC on Tuesday.

Zhou is an expert from the booming petroleum sector and retired in 2012. He is the highest retired Chinese leader to face an anti-graft probe ever since CPC initiated reforms three decades ago.

With inputs from PTI

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Image: China's then public security minister Zhou Yongkang attends the opening ceremony of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing in this October 15, 2007
Photographs: Jason Lee/Reuters
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Zhou rose from a technician in an oil field in the 1960s to become the man in charge of China's vast security apparatus.

He joined the Communist Party in 1964 and went on to graduate from Beijing Petroleum Institute in 1966 with a degree in geophysical survey and exploration.

He spent the next 32 years in China's oil sector, starting as a technician in Daqing oil field. He eventually became the general manager and party secretary of China National Petroleum Corporation in 1998, the ministerial-level head of a state owned company, according to the BBC.

China's former domestic security chief and one of the nation's top nine leaders until he retired, he will be investigated for "serious disciplinary violations," according to the official Xinhua news agency.

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Image: A vendor works beside Hong Kong newspapers showing photos of China's then Politburo Standing Committee Member Zhou Yongkang displayed at a newsstand in Hong Kong
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters
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Zhou Bin, the younger son of Zhou, the highest ranking retired Chinese leader facing a corruption probe has been placed under detention on a charge of illegal business dealings besides 24 others connected with the former leader, official media here reported today.

Procuratorate in Yichang, Hubei province is investigating Zhou Bin's case and his mysterious business empire ranging from hydropower, oil and tourism to the investment sector, which was allegedly built with the advantage of his father's power, state run China Daily reported on Wednesday.

Separately the CPC disciplinary watchdog announced the expulsion of six officials from the party and public office for "serious violations of discipline and law."

According to a statement from the CPC's central commission for discipline inspection, all six officials are local graft-busters tasked with investigating corruption.

In one case, Luo Weiguo, former head of the discipline inspection unit of the department of land and resources in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, was found to have facilitated others in acquiring land projects receiving about $2.72 million bribes, state-tun Xinhua news agency reported.

Luo was also found to have committed adultery. He was expelled from the party and stripped of retirement benefits.

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Image: Zhou Yongkang talks with former China's President Hu Jintao after a plenary session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing
Photographs: Jason Lee/Reuters
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In another case, Yang Xiaocheng, a former Beijing disciplinary official, was found to have taken bribes and sought profits for his mistress. Yang was expelled from the CPC and dismissed from public office.

The other four former discipline inspectors were Xu Jinhua from east China's Jiangxi Province, Jin Liang from central China's Hunan Province, Zheng Qiliang from east China's Shandong Province and Gao Hongming from east China's Jiangsu Province. They are accused of graft, embezzlement and abuse of power.

 Five of them have been transferred to judicial organs for suspected violation of law and Gao was sentenced to five years in prison last December, the Xinhua report said.

As China's anti-corruption campaign picks up momentum, those tasked with rooting out graft are also facing closer scrutiny, it said.

Earlier this year, the commission for political and legal affairs of the CPC central committee also publicised 10 cases of disciplinary or legal violations by police officers, judges and prosecutors. Also the Supreme People's Procuratorate either prosecuted or probed five Chinese officials for corruption.

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Image: Chinse President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, retired high-ranking official in the Communist Party of China He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang meet with the media at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in October 22, 2007
Photographs: Jason Lee/Reuters
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Local prosecutors have filed lawsuits against Hu Guochu, former director of the Hengyang Municipal People's Congress Standing Committee, Zuo Huiling and Liao Jiesheng, former deputy directors of the Standing Committee, for suspected dereliction of duty and bribe-taking.

A local court in south China's Guangdong Province has filed a lawsuit against Cui Renquan, former head of the Guangzhou Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, for suspected abuse of power and bribe-taking.

 Prosecutors in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have investigated and taken "coercive measures" against Peng Zhenhua, former deputy director of the region's afforestation committee, for receiving bribes.

The stepped up anti-corruption drive was stated to be part of sweeping anti-corruption drive launched by President Xi Jinping.


Image: hou Yongkang greets the media at the Great Hall of the People
Photographs: Feng Li/Getty Images
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