Chinese Former Security Chief Zhou Yongkang Is Under Investigation

China said Tuesday, July 29, that its former Security Chief Zhou YongKang is under investigation for “grave violations of discipline,” making him the highest political leader to be investigated in more than two decades, the Chinese news Xinhua reported.

According to the New York Times, Zhou, 71, retired from the Politburo Standing Committee in 2012, and he is now facing an investigation by the party’s watchdog agency. No details of charges against Zhou were released.

However, it is believed the investigation would be centered around Zhou’s suspected corruption. According to a New York Times investigation, Zhou’s son, a sister-in-law and his son’s mother-in-law own assets worth $1 billion renminbi (about $160 million USD) within the oil and gas sector, which was under Zhou’s leadership.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the investigation is part of an anti-corruption campaign started by the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who came to power in 2012. Xi has gotten enough support to launch the campaign, but it may also cause a backlash from other powerful figures in the party.

Photo Credit: Anindito Mukherjee/EPA

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