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China sidesteps question on fate of former security chief

Published on Mar 2, 2014 6:43 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - A senior Chinese government spokesman sidestepped a question about the fate of the country's powerful former domestic security chief on Sunday, the first time a top official has been asked about a corruption case that has been shrouded in secrecy.

Mr Zhou Yongkang was a member of the ruling Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee - the apex of power in the country - and held the immensely powerful post of security overlord until he retired in 2012.

Mr Zhou has been put under virtual house arrest while the party investigates accusations of corruption against him, sources have told Reuters.

He was last seen at an alumni celebration at the China University of Petroleum on Oct 1. The party has yet to make a formal announcement on his fate, and speculation has swirled about him, especially in Hong Kong's freewheeling press.

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