Power Taken From Chinese Security Czar Zhou Yongkang

May 13, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Zhou Yongkang
Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Standing Committee of the of Communist Party, may follow his protege Bo Xilai in being expelled from his Party posts, if his rivals get the best of him in the current power struggle. (Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images)

The Chinese regime’s domestic security chief, Zhou Yongkang, has handed over the reins of power of China’s security forces to a deputy, according to The Financial Times, which quoted sources familiar with the matter. The development would be one of the most significant in the current political crisis, which began in February, that has rocked the Chinese Communist Party. 

Zhou will retain his figurehead Party position as chief of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee, but operational control of the security apparatus has been given to Meng Jianzhu, the minister of public security, according to the Financial Times, which cited three senior Party members and diplomats who had been told about the matter.

In the recent instance Zhou’s “effective removal from power” took place some weeks ago, Financial Times reported.

Party leaders acted against Zhou, according to the Financial Times, because of his strong support for Bo Xilai, a renegade Party official who was purged in April. That took place two months after his deputy, the chief of police of Chongqing, attempted to defect to an American Consulate. After Wang’s visit to the consulate on Feb. 6, reports emerged that Zhou Yongkang and Bo Xilai had conspired to seize power of the regime in a meticulous coup d’état that would be orchestrated over the next year.

The two are bound together because of their involvement in the persecution of the popular Falun Gong spiritual practice, including the forced organ removal from living practitioners, information about which has been trickling out of China despite heavy Internet censorship. Jiang Zemin, the former regime leader, initiated the persecution against the population of nearly 100 million adherents in 1999. He promoted both Zhou Yongkang and Bo Xilai because of their willingness to carry out his policies. 

The result was bloody, according to the available evidence, which suggests that both Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang oversaw abusive organ removal from living Falun Gong adherents. Tens of thousands of individuals are suspected of being victims of organ harvesting.

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Sources in Beijing provided The Epoch Times details of a meeting that led up to the decision to relieve Zhou of his duties, pending an investigation. 

In the meeting, Wen Jiabao openly argued against Zhou, the source said, questioning his connection with Bo Xilai. 

Hu Jintao, the chief of the Communist Party, was silent. He Guoqiang, the head of Party’s internal disciplinary body, then said, “I believe that Comrade Zhou will be found innocent,” but also insisted that an investigation would be necessary. 

To do otherwise would be “a hindrance to the Party and the future work of Party Central,” He said. Hu Jintao then reportedly agreed, on the principle that the investigation would be “fair,” but “secret.”

A source characterized this treatment of Zhou as “slow-boiling a frog.”

With reporting by Lin Feng. 


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