Zhou Yongkang Circle: the Campaign’s Priority Target

在文檔中 習近平「打虎」:反貪抑或肅敵? - 政大學術集成 (頁 74-77)

Chapter 4: Factions and Circles in Tiger Network

4.1. Zhou Yongkang Circle: the Campaign’s Priority Target

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Chapter 4: Factions and Circles in Tiger Network

In Chapter 3 we draw a sociogram of colleague relations between senior corrupt cadres in order to study the structure of their interrelationship. We also calculate PageRank centrality of all tigers that indicates their relative network positions. It is concluded that centrality measurement is a useful tool to quantify the degree of importance of cadres. All possible tigers do occupy the most central positions in their circles as expected. In this chapter, we put the 5 circles under scrutiny, examine the career tracks of tigers in each circle, and try to assess if the circles are factional groups that Xi Jinping takes down or mere nest corruption cases.

4.1. Zhou Yongkang Circle: the Campaign’s Priority Target

The downfall of Zhou Yongkang draws the most public attention among all high-ranking corruption cases in Xi Jinping’s campaign. Zhou is so far the only former full-state-level leader expelled from the party and sentenced to imprisonment for corruption in the history of CCP. He was a Standing Member of the 17th Politburo from 2007 to 2012 when he commanded domestic security forces. He was known as the “security tsar” and considered as powerful as any others in the Standing Committee of Politburo even though he ranked only 9th among the 9 Standing Members of Politburo. It is not surprising that he is on the top of centrality ranking of all 104 tigers.

Zhou was tremendously influential and well connected for not only his rank level but also the numerous provinces/institutions he had served in and presided over. Zhou

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started his career from the oil wells in Liaohe Oil Field in Liaoning Province and rose all the way to full-provincial level by taking the presidency of CNPC in 1996. He was appointed to take charge of MLR in 1998. One year later, Zhou was commissioned to govern Sichuan Province in southwestern China, one of the largest provinces with nearly 100 million residents. He moved back to Beijing in 2002 when he was promoted to Politburo, assuming offices of a State Councilor and a member of the Secretariat of Central Committee. Meanwhile, he occupied the key ministerial position of MPS and Deputy Secretary of CPLC. In the 17th Party Congress in 2007, he made the final leap into the Standing Committee of Politburo and took charge of CPLC. His might was amplified in late Hu Jintao’s tenure when stability maintenance was attached with overriding importance and enormous resources were invested in this field. As the Secretary of CPLC, he also oversaw the Central Leading Group for Stability Maintenance, Central Committee for Comprehensive Management of Public Security, MPS, XWCG, etc.

The richness of Zhou’s experience allowed him to take in clients from various provinces/institutions that his resume covers and to encourage their loyalty by offering upward ladders of advancement. The 17 tigers in Zhou Yongkang Circle are from CNPC, MLR, Sichuan Province, subordinate units under CPLC, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Hainan Province. Zhou’s circle includes 2 full-provincial-level tigers with full or alternative membership of Central Committee, 1 full-provincial-level tiger who has retired from leading posts, 1 vice-provincial-level tiger with alternative membership of Central Committee, and 12 vice-provincial-level tigers.

Zhou weaved a power network that operated effectively in providing his loyalists with chances of advancement under his patronage. Some loyalists have mobile careers of advancement all in provinces/institutions within Zhou’s reach. Guo Yongxiang (郭永

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祥), who started his career in an oil field just like Zhou, left CNPC for MLR to direct its ministerial general office when Zhou was the minister. When Zhou moved to Sichuan Province, Guo followed all the way and took the position of Deputy Secretary-General of Sichuan Provincial Party Committee and later the Secretary-General. After Zhou left Sichuan, however, Guo stayed in this province until his semi-retirement and ended up at vice-provincial level. Ji Wenlin provides another example of mobile career. He was the personal secretary to Zhou in MLR, Sichuan Province, MPS and Central Leading Group for Stability Maintenance. When Ji went for his own career – still under Zhou’s patronage, though – in 2008, he was already at full-departmental level. He went back to MLR and later to Hainan Province where he advanced to vice-provincial level. Tan Li (譚力) worked in Chengdu Municipality, the capital city of Sichuan Province, when Zhou Yongkang came. Tan advanced to full-departmental level within Sichuan and then was promoted to vice-provincial level to Hainan Province. Guo Yongxiang, Ji Wenlin, and Tan Li exemplify how Zhou Yongkang made arrangements of advancement to reward his loyalists in the provinces/institutions within his reach.

On the contrary, some of Zhou Yongkang’s men stuck to the single unit where they first met with Zhou in their future course of advancement. Li Chongxi (李崇禧), a Sichuan native, had built his entire career within Sichuan Province until his semi-retirement, including his service as the Secretary-General of Sichuan Provincial Party Committee from 2000 to 2002 when Zhou governed the province. The same holds true for Li Chuncheng, who was a Vice-Mayor of Chengdu Municipality when Zhou came to Sichuan. When Zhou left, Li Chuncheng had already advanced to be the mayor of the city and an alternative member of Central Committee. When he fell in December 2012 as the first tiger, he was still in Sichuan Province as a deputy provincial party chief. Li Chongxi and Li Chuncheng follow a different yet equally effective path of advancement under the patronage of Zhou Yongkang.

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Zhou Yongkang Circle, as a whole, occupies a central position in the major component of tiger network. Its connections with other circles amplify its political influence. Ye Wanyong (葉萬勇), a former Commissar of Sichuan Provincial Military District and a former Standing Member of Sichuan Provincial Party Committee, bridges the two circles of Zhou Yongkang and Xu Caihou. Chen Anzhong (陳安眾) links Zhou’s circle to Su Rong Circle. Zhao Liping (趙黎平) is the overlapping of Zhou Yongkang Circle and Bai Enpei Circle. Zhou Yongkang Circle’s substantial influence is also reflected by the fact that many of Zhou’s associates rank high in centrality in the entire network. Zhou’s circle takes 3 places in the top 10: Zhou himself at the 1st place, Li Dongsheng (李東生) at the 4th place, and Ji Wenlin at the 9th place. 14 tigers out of 17 in Zhou’s circle are in the first half of PageRank ranking list. The average PageRank of Zhou Yongkang Circle is the highest among all circles.

In sum, Zhou Yongkang Circle is the most extensive and central one in the tiger network. Zhou himself is a qualified factional patron because of his impressive career records. Zhou’s circle operated effectively in promoting its members to senior positions in provinces/institutions under Zhou’s patronage. Zhou Yongkang Circle well qualifies as a factional group and it is the priority target of Xi Jinping’s anticorruption campaign. By putting down such a powerful faction, Xi Jinping shows his resolve against corruption and his unchallengeable autocracy within the party, which differs him from his predecessors who were mere first-among-equals leaders and promotes Xi’s status to a level unprecedented in post-Deng China.

在文檔中 習近平「打虎」:反貪抑或肅敵? - 政大學術集成 (頁 74-77)