$14.5 Billion Seized

Published on Author kuveke


Zhou Yongkang, a retired Chinese government official who oversaw Chinese domestic security. Zhou Yongkang was one of only nine members on the Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee, effectively the highest level of Chinese government. Of the charges Zhou faces the more serious are for extortion, but he also had an affair during his first marriage and may have ordered his wife killed.

Chinese authorities have seized 90 billion yuan ($14.5 billion) in assets from Zhou’s relatives, political allies, and business associates. With hundreds of these individuals being taken into custody and interrogated over the past four months. The sheer size of the investigation and the prominence of Zhou provide clout to China’s anti corruption campaign. Also in the face of China’s police system where internal corruption abuses are prevalent and investigations go unreported the transparency of this case is somewhat unique and instructive as to how future corruption scandals will be handled.

5 Responses to $14.5 Billion Seized

  1. I wonder if this Mr. Zhou Yongkang and the Zhou Wangyan I refer to in my last post who had his legs broken are related–could explain the brutality. However a quick Google search reveals no articles linking the two, on first inspection.

  2. In discouraging corruption going forward, it is important that this case be made public to serve as a deterrent to future corruption. The seizing of assets and public humiliation may be a new form of combating this corruption.

  3. I agree with Westermann, the reason this case has been made so public is to show that government is cracking down on corruption. President Xi Jinping came to power on the platform of reform and putting an end to corruption. This case against such a high ranking official shows that President Xi is making corruption a top priority.

  4. Maybe this case isn’t necessarily an indicator of future norms in respect to a corruption crack-down, but instead is a result of Mr. Yongkang making ill-advised enemies within the Chinese government.

  5. Westermann brings up a solid point about publicizing this event. While it may lead to deter some government officials to come clean, I’m afraid that most will continue to be corrupt just with a little more subtlety.