China Sends Wife, Son of Ex-Security Chief to Prison for Graft

  • Latest among Zhou Yongkang’s circle convicted in Xi’s campaign
  • Verdict comes one year after ‘biggest tiger’s’ life sentence

The wife and son of Zhou Yongkang received long prison terms for corruption, as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s investigation into the former security chief’s inner circle marches on after more than three years.

Zhou’s son, businessman Zhou Bin, 44, was sentenced to 18 years in prison by a local court in Hubei province for taking bribes and conducting illegal business operations, the official Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday. The elder Zhou’s wife, Jia Xiaoye, 48, a former journalist at state broadcaster China Central Television, was sentenced to nine years in prison and fined 1 million yuan ($152,000) for accepting bribes, the court said on its official Weibo account.

The decision comes about a year after Zhou was sentenced to life in prison after a secret trial, making him the highest-level official convicted in Xi’s crackdown. The campaign has ensnared more than a half million Communist Party officials since late 2012 and Xi said in January that the campaign wouldn’t end until he makes China a place where "nobody dares to be corrupt.”

Zhou, who once sat on the Politburo’s supreme Standing Committee, remains the biggest “tiger” snared in Xi’s clampdown. After Zhou retired in 2012, investigators began to probe people in his circle, including executives at his former employer China National Petroleum Corp., and officials in Sichuan province where he was party secretary.

Zhou Bin was the majority shareholder and former chief executive officer of Beijing Zhongxu Yangguang Energy Technology Ltd., Caixin magazine reported in 2014. He had done business deals with Liu Han, the Sichuan businessman executed after being convicted of murder and extortion. The younger Zhou had attended university in Texas before moving back to China in 2001.

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