Opinion / Editorials

Zhou's arrest significant

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-12-08 07:53

Zhou's arrest significant
Then China's Public Security Minister Zhou Yongkang reacts as he attends the Hebei delegation discussion sessions at the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing in this October 16, 2007 file photo. China's Communist Party has begun an investigation into former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, one of the most powerful politicians of the last decade, for "serious disciplinary violations," the official Xinhua news agency said on July 29, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

The arrest of Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, was announced at the weekend. It was beyond the expectation of many that such a top Party official would be brought to court and put on trial.

Even after the Party's top leadership heard reports about his corruption and made the decision to place him under investigation on July 29, many were wondering what would become of him. Some thought that he might receive the Party's disciplinary punishment since he used to be a member of the Party's core leadership. Some suggested that he might be expelled from the Party but not necessarily tried.

They have obviously underestimated the strong will of the Party's leadership in its fight against corruption.

Zhou, as the country's former security chief, is said to have provided convenience for other people to gain illegal interests by abusing his power; directly or through his family members received a huge sum of money in bribes; helped his relatives, friends and mistresses with lucrative business activities, which has resulted in the great loss of State assets; and to have traded his power for sex. He is also accused of leaking State and Party secrets, along with other crimes.

As a matter of fact, stories about his various wrongdoings have long been heard on the grapevine of the Internet.

How can such a corrupt element escape the punishment deserved?

If the Party and government had let such a crooked official off the hook for the offenses he has committed, it would not just mean that anti-graft campaign had missed bagging a tiger, it would also undermine the public's belief in Party's leadership's resolve to pursue corruption to the highest levels.

This is the first time in more than three decades that such a senior level Party official has ever been dealt with through litigation procedure for corruption, although the principle has long been touted that everyone is equal before the law.

Zhou's arrest should deal a heavy blow to any middle level and lower level officials who are still cherishing the dream of making a fortune by abusing their power, as many of them still harbor the belief that the anti-graft campaign will not last forever.

Zhou's arrest is also a proof that the Party leadership has reached the consensus that corruption is the bane of the life of the ruling party and of its governing capability.

So don't underestimate their resolve to deal with any elements that might threaten the Party's legitimacy to rule and its governing capability for its Chinese Dream to come true.

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