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Zhou Yongkang, China's powerful chief of domestic security, has been forced to hand over control of the police and court system, according a report in the Financial Times. The report sources unnamed senior Communist Party members.
According to those sources, Zhou Yongkang has been forced to hand over day-to-day control of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee to the current Minister of Public Security, Meng Jianzhu. Zhou's defense of his would-be successor, former Communist Party official Bo Xilai, was the reason given for Zhou's loss of power.
Zhou still retains his position on the 9-member Politburo Standing Committee, the highest ruling body in the Chinese Communist Party.
The Chinese Communist Party strives to maintain an outward appearance of stability and uniformity to the public. But factional infighting came to a head earlier this year, with Zhou's faction on the losing end.
At the end of this year, a scheduled reshuffling of power within the Party will see Zhou stepping down, along with current Chinese leader Hu Jintao. According to the reports, Zhou has been denied choosing his successor.
A source also told the Financial Times that Zhou was forced to make a "confession" to his colleagues about his error defending Bo Xilai, after Bo's career-ending scandal. This kind of group confession has been used since the Cultural Revolution to demoralize those who have fallen out of favor within the CCP, and put them in a more politically vulnerable position.