Rising star in China’s police force loses spot on top security commission

Fu Zhenghua’s removal has prompted speculation over his political career

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 August, 2016, 1:08pm
UPDATED : Friday, 19 August, 2016, 10:25pm

A deputy national police chief who headed the special unit investigating disgraced security tsar Zhou Yongkang has been removed from the Communist Party’s top security commission in a surprise change that has prompted speculation over his political career.

Fu Zhenghua, the most senior deputy minister of public security and until now a rising star in the police force, is no longer a member of the Central Politics and Law Commission, according to the commission’s official website. Fu has been succeeded at the commission by a junior deputy public security minister, Huang Ming.

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Headed by Politburo member Meng Jianzhu, the commission directly oversees the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the police and the spy agency.

A forensics expert, Fu made his name with a high-profile bust of Beijing’s Passion Nightclub months after he was named the capital’s police chief in 2010.

Widely regarded as one of the closest allies to President Xi Jinping, Fu, 61, was promoted to the deputy minister’s post in August 2013 before being promoted as a full ministerial-level official when he was given an additional post in charge of the central 610 Office, an agency responsible for social stability and cult control, last September.

In 2013, Xi set up a special unit headed by Fu to look into the scandal surrounding former Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou, bypassing the party’s internal disciplinary apparatus, police and graft watchdog sources told the South China Morning Post at the time, adding that Fu reported directly to Xi.

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Fu was also seen as a rising star because he was responsible for the security for the military parade on September 3 last year to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in the second world war.

Fu had been seen as a favourite to become minister of public security, with the incumbent, Guo Shengkun, 61, tipped to leave the police force and succeed Meng to take charge of the Central Politics and Law Commission.

Fu still ranks second in the ministry but his losing his seat on the commission to Huang means the possibility of Fu taking over the helm of the public security ministry is slim.

There are only two seats for top officials from the public security ministry on the commission.