Date
17 October 2017
Former president Jiang Zemin (middle) was reportedly consulted before investigators swooped on former security chief Zhou Yongkang (left). Former vice chairman Zeng Qinghong (right) could be the next former top official to face scrutiny. Photos: Internet
Former president Jiang Zemin (middle) was reportedly consulted before investigators swooped on former security chief Zhou Yongkang (left). Former vice chairman Zeng Qinghong (right) could be the next former top official to face scrutiny. Photos: Internet

Who’s next after Zhou? Not Jiang Zemin

Former president Jiang Zemin is not a target in China’s ongoing anti-graft campaign even though some of his powerful allies have come under investigation.

In fact, Wang Qishan, the Communist Party’s top corruption watchdog, has acknowledged Jiang’s own efforts to stamp out official misdeed, according to Ming Pao Daily.

The most powerful of Jiang’s allies to become entangled in the widening clean-up is former security tsar Zhou Yongkang, who is being investigated for “serious violations of discipline and the law”.

Reports said Jiang had been consulted before investigators swooped on Zhou.

Wang cited Jiang’s efforts to fight corruption in a speech on Monday, saying the retired president and former party chief warned that corruption could “send the regime to death” and “bury the political power”.

Similarly, Wang said there’s no difference between the work of Jiang and his successor, Hu Jintao, in fighting corruption.

So, who will be next?   

Former politburo standing committee member Zeng Qinghong, another close Jiang ally, could face scrutiny over his family’s business ties to Zhou, Apple Daily reported Thursday.

Zeng is an uncle of Zeng Jie, the founder and largest shareholder of Hong Kong-listed Fantasia Holdings Ltd. (01778.HK).

Jeng Jie’s connection to Zhou was cemented through business relationships with Zhou’s son, housekeeper Wu Bing and mainland actress Mei Ting, the report said.

An investment company owned by Wu Bing has bought stakes in a Chengdu project developed by Fantasia’s Chengdu unit and Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd. (01638.HK), according to the report.

In a commentary, Apple Daily said the crackdown will not stop corruption but encourage it and that the Zhou investigation is a political show linked to disgraced former Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai who is in jail for graft.

Bo has failed in his appeal against a life sentence meted out in October.

The Hong Kong Economic Times said the corruption investigations could end with an amnesty during the fourth plenary session of the Communist Party in October.

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