President Xi Jinping has stamped his authority in the Communist Party with the anti-corruption investigation into former security czar Zhou Yongkang, making it clear that he won’t spare senior officials who fall foul of the leadership.
The move against Zhou, which takes the anti-graft campaign to a new level, will help Xi shut down political opposition within the party, Ming Pao Daily News noted.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Chinese Communist Party’s discipline watchdog, officially announced Tuesday that Zhou, who was once a member of the powerful Politburo Standing Committee, is being investigated for suspected “grave violations of discipline”.
Xi opted to move fast on the Zhou case in view of the Beidaihe meeting, the annual unofficial summer summit of China’s current and former leaders, aiming to send a strong signal to party cadre, a source told Ming Pao.
The Zhou announcement came just days after Xi returned from an overseas visit on July 25. Sources suggested that Xi decided to eliminate room for discussions among the nation’s leaders on issues such as whether the punishment on Zhou should be made public, the report said.
Official media such as People’s Daily have for the second consecutive day published critical pieces on Zhou, praising the government for its attempt to stamp out corruption at the top. Global Times ran a feature comparing the case of Zhou with that of Bo Xilai, a former top Chongqing politician who has been given a life term in jail for bribery.
Zhou, who retired from the Politburo Standing Committee in 2012, is believed to have helped his family amass huge wealth.
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