Zhou exerted 'baneful' influence in Sichuan

Zhou exerted 'baneful' influence in Sichuan
China's former Politburo Standing Committee Member Zhou Yongkang attends the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in this March 14, 2012 file photo.

Sichuan's provincial anti-graft agency expressed its determination to carry on the fight against corruption while cleaning up the negative influence of China's ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang on the province's political circle.

Zhou's crimes and disciplinary violations have had a negative effect on the leadership and cadre in Sichuan, leading some officials to break laws and violate Party discipline, according to a statement issued at the fourth full session of the commission for discipline inspection of the Sichuan Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China on Friday.

"The Party committee recognises that Zhou's direct involvement in the political affairs in Sichuan had a baneful influence. The breeding of money worship and extravagant lifestyles, as well as the increase of corruption, should not be underestimated," Wang Dongming, Party chief of Sichuan, said at the session.

China's top anti-graft watchdog announced in July that it was investigating Zhou, who retired from the Politburo Standing Committee, China's top leadership body, in 2012. He was then arrested in December, expelled from the Party and placed under judicial investigation. He was accused of a series of actions, including accepting bribes and "leaking State secrets".

Zhou is the highest ranking official probed in the country's campaign against corruption since 1978, the beginning of reform and opening-up.

According to a report in People's Daily, a group of senior officials in Sichuan who have been probed for corruption once worked in the Sichuan provincial government under Zhou's leadership.

The discipline investigations of Li Chongxi, former chairman of the top political advisory body in Sichuan province, in 2013, and Li Chuncheng, ex-vice-secretary of the CPC Sichuan provincial committee, in 2012, were said to be related to Zhou's corruption case, People's Daily reported.

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