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China’s Security Czar Said to Have Handed Over Power

By Zhang Mingjiang
Epoch Times Staff
Created: June 10, 2012 Last Updated: June 22, 2012
Related articles: China » Regime
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Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of CPC attends the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) on March 5. A suddenly announced ideological training session is the latest sign that things are changing in Beijing. (Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images)

Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of CPC attends the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) on March 5. A suddenly announced ideological training session is the latest sign that things are changing in Beijing. (Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese security chief Zhou Yongkang, who has not made a public appearance for around ten days, handed over his powers as head of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee (PLAC) security apparatus in Beijing due to security reasons and other concerns, The Epoch Times has learned.

If Zhou is no longer the head of the PLAC in Beijing, he will no longer have power over the vast, powerful organ of the Chinese Communist Party that controls the courts, public security, and domestic surveillance.

On May 31, Chinese state-run media reported that Zhou gave a speech in Xinjiang province. However, state media continued to run reports on his subordinates, PLAC vice-secretary Wang Lequan and minister of public security Meng Jianzhu. Zhou was next mentioned meeting with the Sri Lankan opposition leader  Ranil Wickramasinghe on June 11.

In an earlier report from the Financial Times, Zhou was said to have handed over operational control of the entire PLAC to Meng Jianzhu. But Zhou is still officially head of the security apparatus on paper and retains his title of secretary. 

The head of the Shandong province PLAC was replaced by an official named Cai Limin, according to state media reports on June 5.

There have also been reports of power being taken away from PLAC branches in Guangdong province, Shanghai, and the megacity of Chongqing, from which Bo Xilai, an ally of Zhou’s and the city’s former party secretary, was ousted in a dramatic fashion two months ago. 

After blind Chinese human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng successfully made his daring escape from house-arrest amid heavy security in a village in Shandong province, he exposed how local PLAC personnel enriched themselves through persecuting him. 

Chen said local officials told him that over 60 million yuan ($9.5 million) was spent on monitoring him in 2011, not including money used to bribe officials in Beijing.

By overseeing Chen Guangcheng, two domestic security officers of the Shandong Public Security Bureau made “extra money” by taking a portion of the vast funds allocated for security. They were able to afford to send their children to study in the United States and Japan, according to a May 28 report by a U.S.-based, Chinese-language dissident website Boxun, quoting an official who worked for the Office for Maintaining Stability in Beijing.

Editor’s Note: When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.

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