Later this year, Zhou Yongkang, China’s former security chief, is expected to appear in court in the country’s most significant political trial since that of the Maoist Gang of Four in 1981. This time the action revolves around a new Gang of Four, says Liao Ran, a corruption analyst who has followed Mr. Zhou’s career closely.
Mr. Liao believes that the trial of Mr. Zhou for corruption, abuse of power and revealing state secrets may take place after the annual summer gathering of Communist Party leaders at the seaside resort of Beidaihe, as leaders must reach final agreement on how to handle the case. It will involve the arraignment of a figure with once-untouchable status — Mr. Zhou, 72, was a member of the party Politburo’s Standing Committee, the inner circle of power.
Mr. Liao, 55, is a senior program officer with Transparency International, an anticorruption organization, who has studied graft in China for 15 years as it ballooned alongside the economy then came under attack in 2013 from President Xi Jinping, whose corruption-fighting campaign upended the careers of thousands of senior officials. In an interview he discussed Mr. Xi’s goals, the new Gang of Four, and what makes top officials vulnerable.[Source]