Xi Jinping’s Latest Purge: Zhou Yongkang

Reuters reported on Wednesday that, after months of speculation, China’s former security chief Zhou Yongkang had been placed under “virtual house arrest.” At The Daily Beast, Wenguang Huang and Ho Pin, authors of Bo Xilai chronicle A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel, describe the apparent downfall of China’s “third most powerful politician,” who is now said to be “under investigation for murder, corruption, and plotting to overthrow the government.” From The Daily Beast:

Contrary to previous reports that Zhou might face a mere internal rebuke or possible expulsion from the Communist Party, the source confirms that Zhou will be prosecuted and face trial, like Bo Xilai, a former Politburo member and a close ally. If all the accusations proved to be true, prosecution could seek the death penalty. This information has been confirmed with different inside sources in Beijing and Shanghai.

[…] “Zhou’s trial is necessary for Xi Jinping to consolidate power and more importantly build his credibility as a tough fighter against corruption,” said Chen Xiaoping, a New York-based legal scholar. “Therefore, the court will most likely focus on Zhou’s corruption and murder charges to hide the political nature of Zhou’s crimes.”

[…] Under Zhou, China’s security apparatus used extreme measures, such as kidnapping, torture, and illegal confiscation of personal property to suppress pro-independence protests in Tibet and persecute Falun Gong practitioners, Christian underground church members, political dissidents, and arbitrarily arrest and torture petitioners and human rights lawyers. Human rights activists accused Zhou of turning the country into a de facto police state. [Source]

Read more about Zhou Yongkang via CDT.