Born in 1942, Zhou was secretary of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee of the party’s Central Committee from 2007 to 2012. He spent 18 years in Liaoning province working on geophysical exploration before being promoted to mayor of Panmian city. Other positions he held include vice minister of the petroleum industry (1985-1988), minister of land and resources (1998-1999), and Sichuan party boss (1999-2002). In 2002 he became head of the Ministry of Public Security and was made a member of the Politburo’s standing committee in 2007. Zhou is an engineering graduate.
Sichuan political adviser Li Chongxi investigated
A top member of the political advisory body in Sichuan province, who once served as an aide to former security tsar Zhou Yongkang, is under investigation for corruption.
Li Chongxi, the chairman of the provincial committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, is the third senior Sichuan official to fall under suspicion this year in what analysts describe as a widening investigation into Zhou and his supporters.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said yesterday that Li was under investigation for serious violations of party discipline and the law, a phrase often used by party graft watchdogs to describe corruption.
Guo Yongxiang , a former deputy Sichuan governor, and Li Chuncheng , a former deputy party secretary, are also under investigation for graft.
President Xi Jinping set up a special team in October to investigate allegations of corruption against Zhou.
Sichuan was one of the powerbases of Zhou, who retired as the country's top security official in November last year.
Li Chongxi became the party committee's secretary general in Sichuan in August 2000.
By the time Zhou finished his four-year stint as the province's party chief in 2002, Li had been promoted to Sichuan's anti-graft chief and a deputy provincial party secretary.
A Sichuan official, who declined to be named, said Li had spent more than 30 years in politics in the province, making him one of its best-connected officials.
He said Li was particularly close to Zhou, although it was not clear if he was targeted because of his connections with the former security chief.
Jiang Jiemin , one of Zhou's associates during his reign over the country's petroleum industry between the 1980s and 1990s, is also under investigation for alleged corruption.
Li Dongsheng , a deputy national police chief, is another ally of Zhou who is under investigation.
Zhang Lifan , a Beijing-based political analyst, said many of the officials under suspicion worked in the country's oil industry, for the police and internal security apparatus, or were involved in politics in Sichuan - Zhou's three power bases.
"There is still horse-trading among different factions [over how far the investigation will go]," he said.