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China police need to root out 'pernicious influence' of jailed security chief
December 28, 2016 / 3:37 AM / a year ago

China police need to root out 'pernicious influence' of jailed security chief

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Public Security Ministry, which runs the police, needs to deepen efforts to root out the “pernicious influence” of jailed former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, the ministry’s Communist Party committee said on Wednesday.

Zhou once ran China’s fearsome domestic security forces, but was jailed for life last year for bribery, leaking state secrets and abuse of power, the most senior Chinese official to be ensnared in a graft probe since the ruling Communist Party swept to power in 1949.

In a statement released by the party’s graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the ministry’s party committee said political discipline and education needed to be strengthened.

“Further develop work to purge the pernicious influence of Zhou Yongkang,” it said.

“Organise public security organs around the country and the broad mass of police to deepen study and education, to deepen their understanding of the seriousness and harmfulness of the Zhou Yongkang issue,” the ministry added, without elaborating.

The statement was issued in the form of a status update from a routine round of anti-corruption inspections carried out between July and September.

Since assuming office four years ago, President Xi Jinping has waged war on deep-seated graft, warning like others before him that the problem is so bad it could affect the party’s grip on power.

Dozens of senior people have been jailed, including Zhou, and investigations into others continue.

In a separate statement, the discipline commission said that a senior official at the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps had been put under investigation for suspected “serious discipline violations”, the usual euphemism for graft.

It gave no other details of the probe into Tian Jianrong, a member of the corps’ Communist Party standing committee, and it was not possible to reach him for comment.

The corps is a state-run, semi-military organization that dominates cotton production and is involved in other industries in China’s far western region of Xinjiang ranging from tomato growing to mining and construction.

Strategically located on the borders of Central Asia, Xinjiang is at the front lines of what China calls its war on terror, where the government says it faces a threat from Islamist militants.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie

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