Government Seizes $14.5B From Zhou Yongkang’s Associates
Chinese authorities have seized “at least 90 billion yuan ($14.5 billion) from family members and associates of retired domestic security tsar Zhou Yongkang,” the “centre of China’s biggest corruption scandal in more than six decades.” Zhou has been under “virtual” house arrest since late last year and one of his aides was dismissed from office last Thursday as part of an expansive crackdown on former associates. From Benjamin Kang Lim and Ben Blanchard at Reuters:
More than 300 of Zhou’s relatives, political allies, proteges and staff have also been taken into custody or questioned in the past four months, the sources, who have been briefed on the investigation, told Reuters.
The sheer size of the asset seizures and the scale of the investigations into the people around Zhou – both unreported until now – make the corruption probe unprecedented in modern China and would appear to show that President Xi Jinping is tackling graft at the highest levels.
But it may also be driven partly by political payback after Zhou angered leaders such as Xi by opposing the ouster of former high-flying politician Bo Xilai, who was jailed for life in September for corruption and abuse of power. [Source]