Zhou Yongkang, the ninth-highest ranking Chinese official, has stepped down from his daily role as head of China’s police, judicial and spy networks in the wake of the downfall of former Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai, an ally of Zhou’s, the Financial Times reported. Zhou will remain in the nine-member politburo standing committee and keep his title as head of the Chinese Communist Party’s political and legislative affairs committee, but he has effectively given control of the country’s internal security organization to Meng Jianzhu, the current minister of public security, said three unnamed senior party members and diplomats. Many analysts anticipated the departure of Zhou, who was thought to be a strong supporter of Bo Xilai. Sources say other senior leaders feared publicly firing Zhou because of his knowledge gleaned from China’s domestic spy network. Zhou was also allegedly forced to make a “confession” to his peers of his error in protecting Bo.
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