Influence of Zhou Yongkang‘s ’Petroleum Gang‘ fades

Oct 15, 2015, 08:30 am

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By Hong Soon-do, Beijing correspondent, AsiaToday - Once a redoubtable force in Chinese politics, the "Petroleum Gang" is now struggling to hold onto its influence. It used to be one of the powerful groups that controlled Chinese politics along with the Shanghai Gang and the Princelings before Chinese President Xi Jinping took office. But now it seems almost impossible for the Petroleum Gang to regain its power. 

Taking the recent reports of China's state-run media outlets including Xinhua News Agency, such assertion is supported by the downfall of the Petroleum Gang leader Zhou Yongkang (73). For years, he held a prime spot on China's Politburo Standing Committee. However, the former head of China's security services was sentenced to life in prison in June for a series of corruption charges. Of course, he won't be able to lead the gang anymore.

A cartoon illustrating the downfall of the Petroleum Gang. PetroChina former chairman Jiang Jiemin (center), who is known as Zhou Yongkang's right-hand man, was sentenced to 16 years in jail for graft at a trial on October 12./ Source from search engine Baidu

Chinese courts sentenced Zhou's three key allies to jail this week. Jiang Jiemin (60), former chairman of PetroChina, Li Chuncheng (59), former Sichuan deputy secretary, and Wang Yongchun (55), former deputy general manager of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), have been convicted of corruption and sentenced to 16, 13 and 20 years in prison respectively.

The downfall of Fujian governor Su Shulin (53), once a rising political star and top executive at China Petroleum & Chemical corp., can be understood in the same context. On October 7, it was announced that he was being investigated for "serious violations" of party discipline.

There are more associates of Zhou Yongkang who are on the decline. Li Hualin (53), former CNPC deputy general manager, and Wang Daofu (57), former PetroChina chief geologist, are some of the examples. It seems clear that the Petroleum Gang led by Zhou Yongkang is disappearing in the mist of history.

#Zhou Yongkang #Petroleum Gang #Jiang Jiemin #Li Chuncheng #Wang Yongchun 
Copyright by Asiatoday