High-ranking Chinese Communist Party member arrested, expelled from party

World Today

Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party was expelled from the party and arrested in Beijing today. (AFP PHOTO / LIU JIN / FILES)

China’s former security chief Zhou Yongkang was expelled from the Communist Party of China and has been subsequently arrested, authorities announced Saturday Beijing Time.

Prosecutors from China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate are now investigating Zhou’s suspected crimes, which include charges of nepotism to help relatives, mistresses, and friends make huge profits from operating businesses that resulted in serious losses of state-owned assets.

The decision to expel him from the party was made at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Friday. The committee released a statement that said they began examining Zhou’s actions after hearing findings on Dec. 1 from an investigation by the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) about Zhou’s suspected violations.

The CCDI investigation charged that Zhou seriously violated the Party’s political, organizational and confidentiality rules and took advantage of his posts to seek profits for others and accepted huge bribes personally and through his family, the statement said.

The statement also charged that Zhou leaked Party and national secrets, seriously violated self-disciplinary regulations, and accepted a large amount of money and properties personally and through his family.

The investigation also found that Zhou committed adultery with a number of women and traded his power for sex and money.

“What Zhou did completely deviated from the Party’s nature and mission, and seriously violated Party discipline. His behaviors badly undermined the reputation of the Party, significantly damaged the cause of the Party and the people, and have yielded serious consequences,” the statement said.

Zhou, 72, is most senior figure to be snared in President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption crackdown. He rose through the ranks of China’s oil and gas sector before joining the elite Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in 2007, where as domestic security chief his budget exceeded defense spending. He retired in 2012.

Story compiled from Xinhua, Reuters and AP reports.

Douglas Paal of Carnegie Endowment discusses Zhou Yongkang arrest

CCTV America interviewed Douglas Paal, vice president for studies and director of the Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace about Zhou’s arrest and what it means for China’s anti-corruption campaign.