Well it’s been coming for a while, Zhou Yongkang, the former member of the nine-member Politburo Standing Committee, China’s most powerful political body, has been formally arrested.
Zhou has been charged for accepting bribes, adultery, and leaking the country’s secrets.
From an outsider’s perspective the arrest of the ex-security chief seems to be following President Xi Jinping’s promises about cracking down on corruption. Even though it remains to be seen whether that campaign is even effective.
But if China’s leadership really cared about dealing with corruption why aren’t all the other people that were implicated being brought to justice?
Because it’s factional.
Xi’s campaign is part of an inner Party struggle that has seen many officials aligned with former Party boss Jiang Zemin being taken out of the equation, i.e. people such as retired army General Xu Caihou and former Party high-flyer Bo Xilai.
But the bigger issue is the one not openly acknowledge by the Party because the crimes that Zhou is being charged with are actually pretty minor compared to the other crimes he and others in Jiang’s faction have been linked to.
Those crimes include some of the worst human rights violations the country has ever seen.
As the former head of China’s internal security, Zhou has been implicated in the murders of countless people to sell their organs on a black market he helped create.
Multiple sources say that Zhou was directly involved in organizing the harvesting of organs mainly from people who practice Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual discipline that has been persecuted in China by the Party since 1999.
Given the whole idea that live organ harvesting is a horror story, any charge of bribery is very, very minor.