Zhou Yongkang Loses Another Ally to Demotion

By Tan Shu Yan

On June 4, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

(Jeff Nenarella/The Epoch Times)

(Jeff Nenarella/The Epoch Times)

News is trickling out that the “House of Zhou” continues to crumble. Officials close to Zhou Yongkang, the regime’s security czar, are starting to be removed from their posts one by one.

On May 29, China’s state media announced that Luo Lin was being removed from his position as director and secretary of the State Administration of Work Safety. Luo Lin is a known close associate of Zhou Yongkang.

Luo Lin was “transferred due to human resource issues, and in the spirit of promoting interaction through manpower reshuffling,” state media reported.

 

Radio France Internationale’s Chinese website, quoting a Weibo microblog post, reported that Luo’s dismissal was actually due to his role in a cover-up of the 2009 landslide disaster at Jiwei Mountain in Chongqing Province. This was most likely done to gain the favor of Chongqing’s then-Party chief Bo Xilai, and by extension, Bo’s political allies in the “bloody-hands faction,” which includes Zhou Yongkang.

According to another insider, Luo’s dismissal may also have to do with his “deep involvement” in the Wenzhou train collision on July 23, 2011.

Within four days of the crash, huge holes were dug and the debris of the train was quickly buried. The speed at which the wreck was disposed of, instead of being placed under investigation, went against the general procedure of dealing with serious accidents. Fearing press coverage, the local bureau later dug up the train locomotives, the most important parts of the trains, and relocated them.

Luo Lin, as the director of the State Administration of Work Safety, was charged with leading the investigation of the incident. However, the investigation panel became the subject of much criticism, with some panel members even being caught unaware of their exact roles.

Before the incident, Zhou Yangkang was unusually involved in China’s high-speed railway projects, and was likely involved in Wenzhou.

As the head of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee (PLAC), Zhou was never situated in any official position that would directly involve the development of China’s high-speed railway network, which instead falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Railways.

Yet, Zhou showed unusually great interest in the rapidly developing high-speed railway system, frequently appearing in the media because of the various high-profile test rides he took on the trains.

 

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Former Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun, was also a known close ally of Zhou’s, but he was dismissed from his post earlier this year pending corruption charges. He has also been implicated in the Wenzhou train accident that occurred just months after his dismissal.

Zhou was also thought to be involved in an intentionally unpublicized hike in railway ticket prices last year, which provoked a public backslash.

Lately, PLAC secretaries in many provinces have been quietly replaced, and this is believed to be the work of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, who are eager to topple the Jiang Zemin faction, including Zhou Yongkang, as soon as possible.

 

Read the original Chinese article.

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