Who is Zhou Yongkang?
Key positions, most important at top:
· Secretary of the PLAC (Political and Legislative Affairs Committee) (Party position)
· Member of the Politburo Standing Committee (Party position)
· Member of the National People's Congress (Government position)
Zhou Yongkang is among the top three most powerful men in China's Politburo Standing Committee (the other two being CCP General Secretary Hu Jintao, and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao).
Zhou's power comes from his position as head of the PLAC (Political and Legislative Affairs Committee). The PLAC controls China's domestic police, national intelligence, and the courts, among other things. In practice, the PLAC is above government oversight.
Zhou has used his power to continue former CCP leader Jiang Zemin's policies, including taking an extreme hardline stance on repressing Falun Gong. This, as well as his other hardline policies, has put him at odds with Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao.
Zhou succeeded Luo Gan, who had been head of the PLAC through 2007.
Zhou had chosen Bo Xilai to replace him as PLAC head after his mandatory retirement at the end of 2012. The situation has changed dramatically after Bo Xilai was ousted from the Politburo in March 2012.