Minitrue: Remove News on Zhou Yongkang’s Relatives
The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.
A court in Yichang, Hubei, has sentenced the wife and son of former security chief Zhou Yongkang to lengthy prison terms for accepting bribes. Zhou Yongkang, the prize “tiger” in Xi Jinping’s ongoing Party corruption purge, was himself sentenced to life in prison last year for corruption and the sharing of state secrets. The New York Times’ Michael Forsythe reports on the sentences handed to wife Jia Xiaoye and son Zhou Bin, and media silence during their trials:
The Yichang City People’s Intermediate Court, about 800 miles south of Beijing, handed down a nine-year term to Jia Xiaoye, whose husband, Zhou Yongkang, was until 2012 one of China’s most powerful officials. His son by a previous marriage, Zhou Bin, received an 18-year prison sentence from the same court on Wednesday, China’s Central Television reported.
The court’s official social media site announced Ms. Jia’s sentence on June 8, but it was reported by China’s state news media only on Wednesday.
[…] No pictures accompanied the terse announcement from the court on Ms. Jia’s sentencing. But Chinese state television did broadcast a clip from Zhou Bin’s trial. Balding, expressionless and bearing a striking resemblance to his square-jawed father, he was flanked by two police officers. He confessed to accepting more than $33 million in bribes and was fined more than $53 million, an indication of his wealth.
[…] Ms. Jia also accepted her sentence, which included a fine amounting to about $152,000, the court said in its statement. Both said they would not appeal. [Source]
Reuters’ Megha Rajagopalan provides context on Zhou Yongkang’s place in Xi Jinping’s corruption crackdown:
Zhou Yongkang was a member of the party’s elite Politburo Standing Committee and once among China’s most powerful officials.
But he became embroiled in China’s biggest corruption scandal in more than six decades – the most senior leader targeted in a corruption investigation since the Communist Party took power in 1949 – and was jailed for life in 2015.
Dozens of his associates have also been arrested, many in the southern province of Sichuan, where he was Communist Party boss from 1999 to 2002.
Sources first told Reuters in 2014 that Jia had been detained along with more than 10 of Zhou’s relatives.
Xi’s anti-corruption campaign has felled dozens of officials, including many of his top political opponents. [Source]
Coverage from the South China Morning Post recalls earlier reports that Zhou Bin and his stepmother Jia Xiaoye had allegedly set up an entertainment company using connections from Jia’s time as a CCTV presenter:
Sources told the South China Morning Post in early 2014 that the junior Zhou and Jia had established an entertainment production company that might have enjoyed preferential treatment by CCTV.
The son and wife appeared in a video that was used as evidence at the trial of the former minister last year, according to Xinhua. [Source]
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source. See CDT’s collection of Directives from the Ministry of Truth since 2011.