A report by Taiwan’s United Daily News on Dec. 2 and a report in Hong Kong’s Sing Tao Daily on Dec. 3 both state that Zhou Yongkang, the former head of domestic security, has been placed under house arrest on charges of a coup attempt and corruption.
The news has not been confirmed by Beijing, but apparently an important document has been leaked concerning Zhou’s arrest, and it has been spreading among the bureau level officials in China since Dec. 2.
The Central Discipline Inspection Commission has already started investigations on various issues relating to Zhou, according to the document.
Zhou was one of the most powerful men in China from 2007 to 2012. He was in charge of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC), which, according to the Epoch Times, was the Party organ that controlled almost all aspects of law enforcement, including police, the People’s Armed Police, the courts, lawyers, the procuratorate, the labor camps, and prisons.
The main cause for this top figure’s fall has to do with his attempt to conduct a coup during the Bo Xilai incident, which trampled on the bottom line that Beijing can tolerate. Bo was the Party head of the province-level city of Chongqing in central-western China, and was recently sentenced to life in prison.
Being a member of the Politburo Standing Committee is usually considered a safe house in the Communist Party. The established unspoken rule is that no member should face severe punishment, so the way Zhou is being dealt with is an uncommon exception to this rule. It further demonstrates the manifesto of new leader Xi Jinping to uproot rivals and weed out corruption.
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