“Zhou Yongkang, China Security Chief, Investigated As Bo Xilai Scandal Expands”

Please be true, please be true, please be true, please be true, please be true, please be true:

China’s leaders want Bo Xilai’s downfall seen as a blow against corruption – not as part of a power struggle. But with a second, even higher-ranking Politburo member now suspected to be under pressure, it will become difficult to avoid the perception of all-out infighting.

Moves against Zhou Yongkang, China’s security chief, could undermine attempts to portray the Bo scandal as a fight to uphold the rule of law and would reinforce a skeptical public’s view that the Communist Party is in disarray months before a once-a-decade transfer of power to new leaders.

“Internally, the power struggle is getting more intense and, if true, Zhou’s removal would be seriously damaging,” Beijing-based political analyst Li Fan said.

Zhou, 72, is widely reported to have been the only leading official to have argued against last week’s striking decision to suspend Bo’s membership in the 25-seat Politburo – a step that effectively ended the political career of one of China’s most ambitious and high-profile politicians.

Bo’s removal has fueled cynicism among ordinary Chinese, leading to a flood of rumors and speculation – much of it online – about political feuding among the leaders and even attempted coups. Taking down Zhou would only reinforce such views, said Joseph Cheng, who heads the Contemporary China Research Center at the City University of Hong Kong.

“It furthers the perception that all cadres are corrupt and all corruption investigations are political,” said Cheng, who believes Hu would prefer to sidestep further conflict by allowing Zhou to retire after this fall’s party congress as originally expected.

The only way the Bo Xilai affair could get any better is if it spells an end to Zhou Yongkang as well. Don’t let me down, Boxun.

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2 Comments

Filed under 2012 power transfer, Chongqing Model/Bo Xilai

2 responses to ““Zhou Yongkang, China Security Chief, Investigated As Bo Xilai Scandal Expands”

  1. MPR

    Very funny. Of note is also the factoid that we had been reporting this for oh, a couple of weeks already? (Well, three days on this particular rumor, but the broad narrative for much longer): http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/china-news/exclusive-chinas-top-leaders-split-over-handling-of-security-czar-221439.html

    • I had originally ended up somewhat writing off the planned coup rumors, but I also thought the Englishman murder was a bit far-fetched and that turned out to be true, so… I just don’t know anymore. At the end of the day it would just be really great to see Zhou Yongkang kicked out in disgrace.

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