[Zhou Yongkang’s downfall] is the second chapter of the “Bo Xilai Drama”—a drama begun at the 18th Party Congress. The Party’s power transition has been secret and has lacked convincing procedure. This [lack of transparency] has triggered unimaginably huge debates within the Party. Every retiring Politburo Standing member has been trying hard to pick their own successors. Zhou Yongkang picked Bo Xilai as the Secretary of Political and Legal Affairs. There was a hidden attempt behind this arrangement—a challenge to Xi Jinping’s power. Now, the Party is done with Bo Xilai and has started to handle Zhou Yongkang.
Xi Jinping plans to use Zhou Yongkang as a sacrifice in his anti-corruption campaign. If Xi failed to break the unwritten rule that the Politburo Standing members are immune to any legal punishment, his anti-corruption would have no teeth. Zhou Yongkang’s corruption has been well-known and people both inside and outside of the Party hate him. Thus, he has become the best tool to build up Xi Jinping’s power.