採訪/朱智善 編輯/尚燕 後製/陳建銘
Party Media: Fourth Plenum May Publicize Zhou Yongkang’s Case
People’s Daily recently analyzed that during
the Fourth Plenary Session next week the former secretary
of the Central Politics and Law Commission Zhou Yongkang
could be expelled from the party and prosecuted.
The four-day Fourth Plenary Session of the Central
Committee will be held in Beijing next Monday.
A People’s Daily article on the 14th explained the case
investigation of Zhou Yongkang on July 29 could be
revealed during the meeting.
Other investigations such as those of former director
of SASAC Jiang Jiemin, former Vice Minister of Public
Security Li Dongsheng, former Party Secretary of Guangzhou
Wan Qingliang, former deputy secretary of Sichuan
Provincial Committee Li Chuncheng, and former deputy
general manager of PetroChina Wang Yongchun, will also
be ratified at the Fourth Plenary Session.
Reuters reported that the Central Commission for Discipline
Inspection will present its findings in a report on Zhou,
according to three sources.
“The Central Committee is expected to approve
(a proposal to) expel Zhou for grave violations
of party discipline and decide whether to turn him over
for prosecution," one source with leadership ties told Reuters.
The source added, “If the Central Committee votes
to prosecute Zhou, the process will drag out due to a lack
of (judicial) manpower and the complexity of the case."
Zhang Jian, China’s social problems researcher: “Regardless
of the speculation, the Fourth Plenary Session will be the best
time to open up on the Zhou Yongkang issue.
Through the Fourth Plenary, it is time to form a public
argument internally and externally."
According to Reuters, Zhou has been put under virtual house
arrest since late 2013 and investigated for corruption involving
family members and political allies as well as ordering
the bugging of the telephones of top leaders
and the mysterious death of his former wife in a road accident,
sources have said.
More than 300 of Zhou’s relatives, political allies and their
business associates have been arrested, detained or questioned
over the past two years, according to sources briefed
on the investigations.
The trials of some of Zhou’s allies could start as early as
this year, the sources said.
Chinese authorities have seized assets worth at least
90 billion yuan ($14.5 billion) from these people,
the sources added.
Reuters also reported, but the party is unlikely to reveal
the entire story because it would further undermine its image
and make it difficult to explain to the public how Zhou
climbed the political ladder to eventually become a member
of the Politburo Standing Committee, sources and analysts said.
Zhang Jian: “The CCP could convict him mainly on
corruption, buying and selling official titles, and sex scandals.
As for the rest, such as what we are most concerned about—
the persecution of human rights, live organ harvesting,
and the violent suppression of masses protests in the entire
society— I don’t believe the CCP would mention any
of them, just like how Bo Xilai’s case was handled back then."
Xi Jinping’s “hitting the tiger" campaign has broken
an unwritten rule that members of the Standing Committee
would not come under scrutiny after retirement.
But, observers believe even Zhou’s case will be confirmed
in the Fourth Plenum but won’t be the end of the campaign.
Beijing politics watcher Hua Po: “The recent series
of incidents such as the Hong Kong protest and other domestic
events have shown a frenzied counterattack
by the vested interest groups.
Beating Zhou Yongkang did not serve enough deterrent
to other tigers.
I am sure there are other tigers to be hit."
People’s Daily said the Fourth Plenum theme
will also include “rule of law."
The discussion of “rule of law" during the plenum
will be the first time in history.
“The rule of law" was introduced during
the 15th National Congress in 1997.
It has been 17 years, observers don’t hold much hope
for any change to the ruling under the Communist regime.
Hua Po: “The so-called rule of law or Constitution,
I think it’s optional to the CCP.
For instance, the Constitution says to strengthen the CCP
ruling and the four cardinal principles,
are what the CCP will abide by.
But, the civil rights in the Constitution article 25
about freedom of speech, parades, demonstrations,
publication, freedom of association, I don’t think the CCP
will honor them."
There are also commentators who indicated
personnel changes will take place during the Fourth Plenary.
Eight of the 10 previous Fourth Plenum have engaged
in arrangement changes, in particularly
the Politburo leadership.
Interview/Zhu Zhishan Edit/ShanYan Post-Production/Chen Jianming