China’s domestic security chief will no longer be a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the top governmental authority in China, Reuters reported, citing state-run Xinhua News Agency. The government confirmed Monday that Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu took over for outgoing Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang as head of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, despite Meng not being named to the Standing Committee. Meng is a member of the larger 25-member Politburo. The position was downgraded as the Standing Committee shrank to seven members from its previous nine members. The lesser role of the security position indicates those responsibilities will be more tightly controlled by the smaller Politburo, reflecting concerns that Zhou’s position had become too strong. Zhou, who will retire, is rumored to have hesitated in moving against Bo Xilai when the Chongqing party chief’s wife was accused of murdering a British businessman.
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