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Originally published Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 3:38 PM

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Top Chinese security official investigated in corruption

One of China’s top security officials is being investigated by the Communist Party for “suspected serious law and discipline violations,” according to Xinhua, the state news agency.


The New York Times

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BEIJING — One of China’s top security officials is being investigated by the Communist Party for “suspected serious law and discipline violations,” according to Xinhua, the state news agency.

The report said the official, Li Dongsheng, a vice minister of public security, is the subject of an inquiry by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party’s internal anti-corruption investigation agency.

The Xinhua report, which appeared Friday, also said the agency had noted that Li was vice head of a leading group for the prevention and handling of cult-related issues.

Li has ties to Zhou Yongkang, the former member of the ruling Politburo Standing Committee who oversaw the powerful domestic security apparatus from 2007 to 2012, according to several people with knowledge of party politics.

The anti-corruption agency recently opened an investigation into Zhou, the first time since the Communist Party took control of China in 1949 that an official of such high stature has been the target of a formal anti-corruption inquiry.

For many months, investigators had been looking into the activities of officials linked to Zhou. Those officials include people in the security apparatus, at a state-owned oil company and in senior party and government posts in Sichuan province. All are domains in which Zhou has worked and held sway.

Zhou and his wife, Jia Xiaoye, have been held under a form of house arrest in their home in central Beijing. Zhou was also an ally of Bo Xilai, a former Politburo member who was sentenced in September to life in prison.

The investigation into Li will not necessarily result in a criminal charge. If the anti-corruption agency finds that Li has violated party discipline, he can be punished internally by the party. But the case can also be handed to the courts and prosecutors, and that could lead to a criminal charge and a trial, which is what happened with Bo.



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