Political Crisis Deepens as Dozens Targeted

Despite efforts by the Communist Party to present a facade of unity and stability in the midst of a political scandal, reports show that the crisis may be both deepening and widening with a possible investigation of the nation’s top security chief and arrests of dozens of allies of Bo Xilai, the recently-deposed Chongqing Party chief. The Washington Post reports that Zhou Yongkang, a Standing Committee member who oversees security and is viewed as an ally of Bo’s, may be facing an investigation: In keeping with China’s closed political system, the information released publicly about Bo’s case has been little, the rumors many and almost no one is willing to speak on the record. But overseas-based Chinese websites and political insiders are now saying that Zhou, one of nine members of the party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, is also under heavy scrutiny and could face a reckoning. “Internally, the power struggle is getting more intense and, if true, Zhou’s removal would be seriously damaging,” Beijing-based political analyst Li Fan said. Zhou, 72, is widely reported to have been the only leading official to have argued against last week’s striking decision to suspend Bo’s membership in the 25-seat Politburo — a step that effectively ended the political career of one of China’s most ambitious and high-profile politicians. Meanwhile in Chongqing, several of Bo’s supporters and colleagues have been detained in connection with the investigation into Bo and his wife, Gu Kailai, who has been accused of planning the murder of Briton Neil Heywood. From the New York Times: The detentions are part of an attempt by the central Communist Party to dismantle Mr. Bo’s support network and build a case against him and his wife, Gu Kailai, who is under investigation for the murder of a British businessman, Neil Heywood. Mr. ...
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