Another Zhou Yongkang Ally Investigated for Corruption

As the Xi administration’s crackdown on party corruption continues to net flies and trap tigers, Reuters reports that Ji Wenlin, another former associate of retired security chief Zhou Yongkang, is under investigation for graft. Zhou Yongkang is said to be under “virtual house arrest,” and has been the target of an ongoing corruption probe first reported in August:

A former aide to retired Chinese security tsar Zhou Yongkang is being investigated for corruption, the government said, the latest move targeting associates of Zhou, himself the subject of a graft probe.

The ruling Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog said late on Tuesday that Ji Wenlin, a vice governor of the southern island province of Hainan, was being investigated for suspected serious breaches of party discipline and the law, the usual euphemism for graft.

[...] Ji worked with Zhou when the latter was land resources minister in the late 1990s. Zhou has been put under virtual house arrest, sources have told Reuters.

Ji then followed Zhou to Sichuan province and became one of his secretaries when Zhou was provincial party boss, Ji’s official resume shows.

The two also worked together in the Ministry of Public Security in the early 2000s. Ji was shifted to Hainan province, better known in China for its pristine beaches and resorts, late in 2010. [Source]

The South China Morning Post describes what this new probe might suggest about the as-of-yet unannounced findings of the Zhou investigation, and takes a roll call of all former Zhou aides currently under investigation:

Zhang Ming , a political scientist at Renmin University, said authorities still appeared to be trying to gather evidence on Zhou and it was unclear when the findings would be announced.

“One possibility is that the authorities are having some difficulty in gathering proof that Zhou is directly and personally involved in the corruption as opposed to doing it through his family,” Zhang said.

Other former Zhou aides under investigation for corruption include Guo Yongxiang , a former deputy Sichuan governor, and Li Dongsheng , a former vice-minister of public security. Ji last appeared in public last Friday, when he attended a provincial disciplinary meeting chaired by Hainan party chief Luo Baoming. [Source]

Yesterday, the CCP’s disciplinary watchdog also announced an unrelated probe into Zhu Zuoli, a senior Shaanxi political advisor.