Date
18 October 2017
Former Chinese leaders Hu Jintao (left) and Jiang Zemin (right) had reportedly approved the formal investigation into retired security chief Zhou Yongkang. Photo: Bloomberg
Former Chinese leaders Hu Jintao (left) and Jiang Zemin (right) had reportedly approved the formal investigation into retired security chief Zhou Yongkang. Photo: Bloomberg

Xi secured former leaders’ consent to probe Zhou Yongkang

Two former Chinese leaders gave their consent for President Xi Jinping to investigate retired security chief Zhou Yongkang, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

The deal meant the high-profile corruption probe will not open a rift in the ruling Communist Party, the report said.

Xi’s predecessors Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin had approved the formal investigation into Zhou, the most senior Chinese official to be ensnared in a graft scandal since 1949, the sources said.

The party said in a statement on Tuesday that Zhou was being investigated by its anti-corruption watchdog for suspected “serious disciplinary violations”, which usually refer to graft.

Xi would not have been able to investigate someone as powerful as Zhou without the agreement of senior party members and other retired top officials, political analysts were quoted as saying. Both Jiang and Hu, as former presidents and heads of the party, still have allies installed in office, according to the wire agency.

Zhou, 71, was the security chief within the Politburo Standing Committee for five years until he retired in 2012.

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