News / Asia

China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chiefi
X
William Ide
July 31, 2014 2:28 PM
The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief
William Ide

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change.

Zhou Yongkang's investigation is dominating headlines and discussion in China. And although there is anticipation it is all leading to a corruption trial, there is also concern that Zhou could receive lighter treatment, given his previous power and influence.

Chinese economist Hu Xingdou says while nothing is certain, he believes China's President Xi Jinping has already shown his unwillingness to compromise.

"Zhou's investigation is part political struggle, but it is unlikely to be used as just a showcase for the anti-corruption drive. I would expect the anti-corruption drive will continue and even higher ranking officials could be next," he said.

Hu believes Zhou eventually will face charges in court, but Chinese historian Zhang Lifan is less certain.
 
"There are several dilemmas [the leaders are faced with] regarding Zhou Yongkang's case, such as whether Zhou Yongkang will cooperate with the investigation, whether [the authorities] will use his case to ferret out more 'tigers' [high-ranking officials], whether his case will become a political one, whether an anti-party clique might become involved, or whether the case will simply be dealt with as a regular corruption case. It is still hard to tell for the time being," said Zhang.

Bo ally

Zhou was a close ally of former rising political star Bo Xilai, who was sentenced to life in prison last year. Several of Zhou’s former associates already have been fired and some now are facing criminal investigations.
 
Once a member of China's top political body, the Politburo Standing Committee, the decision to move forward with Zhou's investigation is highly symbolic.

It is also crucial, analysts say, because as China's economy continues to slow, cleaning up rampant corruption is seen as good for the Communist Party and good for business.

Political scientist David Zweig said, "There is too much unbridled uncontrolled power [in China) and he [Zhou] is the classic example of a guy who could misuse that [power]. I think its a good lesson, might be surprising somewhat to the people in China, but it will drive home very much to them that there needs to be constraints of the use and abuse of power in the Chinese political system."
 
How soon Zhou could face charges is unclear. What is most likely is that he will first be expelled from the party, analysts say, and then face criminal charges -- an effort that could take months, if not longer.

 

 

 

 

You May Like

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
July 31, 2014 3:50 PM
A power struggle sweeps across the country, deterioration starts at the top and syndicates and allies are fleeing, if they can.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs