China Central Television on Wednesday announced that China’s former security chief and Politburo member Zhou Yongkang was being investigated by the communist party central committee for disciplinary violations, according to the Chinese language Epoch Times.
The announcement represents the culmination of the central government’s crackdown on corruption that resulted in the dismissal of some forty-three provincial level officials across the nation since the conviction of Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai last September.
Zhou is the highest former central government official and only former Politburo member to be placed under former investigation by the party for disciplinary violation.
Before ascending to the position of the nine-member Politburo, the highest decision-making body of the communist party central committee in 2007, Zhou served as the chief of the Public Security Bureau overseeing intelligence and domestic security.
Prior to his tenure as Public Security Bureau chief, Zhou amassed fortunes with his high position in the state owned petroleum enterprise by assigning oil refinery construction projects to local governments, reports have said.
In 2004, then Chinese president Jiang Zemin appointed Zhou to head the party’s Politics and Law committee which oversaw law enforcement, courts, labor camps and prison and where Zhou displayed an iron fist in cracking down on dissidents and human rights activists.
On the same day of the announcement of the investigation, the son of Zhou Yongkang, Zhou Bing, was reportedly arrested by authorities.
Analysts said that Zhou’s investigation represented the final piece in the purge of the old guard that remained from the Jiang Zemin faction and the consolidation of power by current president Xi Jinping.