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Zhou Yongkang: oil man whose well of power finally ran dry

Published on Jul 29, 2014 8:33 PM
 

BEIJING (AFP) - Embattled former top Communist Zhou Yongkang rose through China's state oil industry to become the country's internal security chief - and amassed so much power, according to analysts, that he brought about his own downfall.

The investigation into him announced Tuesday comes on the back of President Xi Jinping's much-publicised anti-corruption drive, but experts say it is driven more by internal politics within the factionalised ruling party.

Zhou, 71, was born in the eastern industrial city of Wuxi in 1942, the son of a senior Communist defence procurement bureaucrat.

He got his start in the 1970s as a technician for the Liaohe Oil Exploration Bureau in the northeastern province of Liaoning, home to China's third-largest oil field.

China's then Public Security Minister Zhou Yongkang attends the opening ceremony of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing in this October 15, 2007 file photo. Embattled former top Communist Zhou Yongkang rose through China's state oil industry to become the country's internal security chief - and amassed so much power, according to analysts, that he brought about his own downfall. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
 
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