Zhou Yongkang Case Develops: What Are The Political Implications?
Reuters recently reported the latest news regarding Zhou Yongkang's case. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has seized assets worth at least 90 billion yuan ($14.5 billion). A growing number of sources confirm Zhou's trial is imminent, but the regime hasn't made an official statement. Questions are being asked about why Western media are receiving the latest information from various sources. What exactly is the political implication of this story? Lets hear from our experts.
Reuters reported information from three sources, that the "Chinese authorities have seized assets worth at least 90 billion yuan ($14.5 billion)."
More than 300 of Zhou's relatives and political allies have been taken into custody or questioned, since last year.
Reuters states that Xi ordered a task force formed in late November or early December to look into accusations against Zhou.Zhou, 71, has been under virtual house arrest since authorities began formally investigating him late last year.
Commentator Li Shanjian believes that this report by Reuters, using information from sources, shows the Chinese regime is intentionally leaking information.
Li Shanjian, commentator: "The information was leaked through three senior level officials. They all spoke of the same thing, and the purpose is to tell the outside world that Zhou's case will be taken care of. It is a signal to Chinese officials to make their political stance clear."
On March 31, the third day after Reuters' coverage on Zhou's case, a CCP court conducted a live hearing on Weibo.The trial invovled in case of Liu Han, a
Sichuan billionaire, and his brother Liu Wei. They were charged with organizing, leading and participating in organized crime groups. They were also charged with intentional murder, as well as involvement in, and protection of, underworld organizations.
Media reports have been widely circulating in China, asking "how has Liu Han been protected for 18 years?" "What does Liu Han's trial mean?" Sichuan was one of the underworlds that Zhou Yongkang had managed for years.
Hua Po, political observer: "Liu Han's case is connected to Zhou Yongkang.
Liu's behaviors were inseparable from Zhou Yongkang's faction. The international dissemination of information about Zhou's case is just a warming up of public opinion. Liu Han's case will expose Zhou Yongkang's crimes in corruption, violating laws, and underworld organizations."
Reuters said that the party's anti-corruption watchdog had frozen bank accounts with deposits totaling 37 billion yuan. It has seized domestic and overseas bonds and stocks with a combined value of 51 billion yuan.Investigators also confiscated about 300 apartments and villas worth around 1.7 billion yuan.
They also confiscated antiques and contemporary paintings with a market value of 1 billion yuan. There was also more than 60 vehicles, and seized expensive liquor, gold, silver and cash in local and foreign currencies.
Reuters said that Zhou Yongkang, "is at the centre of China's biggest corruption scandal."
Xi Jinping has broken the CCP rule of no charges being brought against the Standing Committee. International analysis questions whether the regime will touch upon Zhou Yongkang's true crimes, or if it will just put on a superficial show, as in the case of former Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai.
Li Shanjian: "One old tactic will be to charge him for corruption. The other will be to expose only the minimum number of crimes, such as the coup plan he had with Bo Xilai. Next might be crimes of the political and legal system
to persecute the Chinese people under his leadership. This could be followed by his persecution of Falun Gong, especially live organ harvesting. Nothing is clear at this point from the information revealed."
Over the past year, cronies and relatives of Zhou Yongkang have been sacked.
They included Zhou's wife Jia Xiaoye, his brother, his eldest son Zhou Bin, Zhou Bin's in-laws. Around 10 officials who held a rank equivalent to at least vice minister were also put under investigation. This includes Jiang Jiemin, former Director of the State Auditor, Li Dongsheng, former Vice Minister of Public
Security and Ji Wenlin, former Vice Governor of Hainan. More than 20 of Zhou's bodyguards, secretaries and drivers had also been detained, according to Reuters.
Reuters reported that Zhou has refused to cooperate with investigators. It is generally thought that as a former domestic security chief, Zhou would have intimate knowledge of the skeletons in the party's closet.
He is fully aware of the CCP characteristics: "If you admit your crimes, you face life imprisonment, but if you deny them, you return home to celebrate."
Interview & Edit/TiangYin Post-Production/SunNing