China corruption probe hints at continuing power struggle that ousted Bo Xilai

The noose is tightening around Zhou Yongkang, a former head of China’s domestic security entangled in a vast corruption investigation, and the highest-ranking figure to become embroiled scandal in the history of the communist state.

Zhou Yongkang / AP
Zhou Yongkang / AP

Chinese authorities have seized assets worth at least 90 billion Yuan ($14.5 billion) from Zhou’s relatives and associates, two sources told Reuters. More than 300 of his relatives, political allies, protégés and staff have also been taken into custody or questioned in the past four months, said the sources, who have been briefed on the investigation. …

The investigation would appear to show that President Xi Jinping is tackling graft at the highest levels, yet there might also be an element of political payback after Zhou opposed the prosecution of Bo Xilai, a former politburo member, who was jailed for life in September for corruption and abuse of power.

“Zhou Yongkang was one of Bo’s biggest supporters,” said Dufour. “Bo Xilai was someone who could have embodied opposition to the direction in which Xi Jingping is taking the Communist Party. Zhou Yongkang was more the shadowy operator exercising immense influence behind the scenes.”

Before Bo’s downfall, Zhou had recommended that Bo succeed him as domestic security chief. Since Zhou’s retirement in 2012, the post has ceased to exist.



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