US News & World Report quotes Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security Senior Fellow Robert Manning on the implications of the sentencing of China’s former security chief, Zhou Yongkang:
“There’s an intimidation factor when you go after really big fish like that. It sends a chill across the whole system and puts everybody on notice,” says Robert Manning, senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council of Zhou’s sentencing. “[It] suggests not just that corruption is endemic in China, but Xi doesn’t feel he’s consolidated power enough.”
Some see the campaign against corruption as reminiscent of an old-style party purge, in which leaders expelled or arrested those seen as disloyal or undesirable. But Xi’s efforts have wide support in China.
“All the polling suggests that the anti-corruption campaign is very popular with the average Chinese,” Manning says. “Corruption – village officials abusing power and so on – has been one of the major gripes in tens of thousands of protests and demonstrations that occur every year all around China.”