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Former Shenzhen Deputy Mayor Gets 10 Years For Corruption

Posted: 12/29/2014 10:00 am
liang daoxing

Liang Daoxing

The former deputy mayor of Shenzhen, Liang Daoxing, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for corruption. The 63-year-old who served from 2002 to 2009, was convicted of accepting RMB 1.94 million, HKD 2.78 million, and US $5,000 in bribes.

The laundry list of offences included, allowing businesses to pay for his travel expenses, as well as his daughter’s apartment. Liang disputed the charges, arguing he should have received a more lenient sentence due to his years of public service.

When Liang was party chief of Nanshan District, he reportedly took HKD 680,000 from an engineer at Nanyou Holdings Co., surnamed Ye, in exchange for appointing him head of the Nanshan Urban Construction and Development Co., a state-owned enterprise. Ye, also charged with corruption, pleaded guilty earlier this month to accepting RMB 2.09 million and HKD 290,000 in bribes.

Then there was Jiang Hanping, a deep-pocketed man who shelled out twice to Liang—once to become head of Shenzhen’s family planning commission, which cost him RMB 130,000, and later to ascend to the head of Shenzhen’s public health bureau, a promotion with a price tag of RMB 500,000.

Liang didn’t just hand-out promotions to the highest bidder, he also accepted RMB 428,510 and HKD 1.1 million in bribes to relocate Shenzhen’s Neurological Disease Hospital and a factory.

Liang also used a man named Zhang to purchase the aforementioned apartment for his daughter, who was getting married at the time. Liang paid roughly 60% of the cost, and Zhang shelled out the rest. Zhang then agreed to decorate and furnish the apartment, paying an additional HKD 600,000.

Photo: xwh


Former Shenzhen Police Chief, Jailed for Bribery, Bribes Her Way Out

Posted: 12/16/2014 5:00 pm

This is an insane story.

An Huijun, image courtesy of Shenzhen Daily

The ex-police chief of Shenzhen’s Luohu District has been jailed again after being released for medical treatment seven years ago, Shenzhen Daily reported yesterday. An Huijun was initially jailed in 2005 for accepting bribes from subordinates. She also had sexual relationships with many young male officers.

An’s sister was prosecuted this October in Xingtai, Hebei Province for offering bribes to make false medical documents for An while she was in jail. An, former director of Luohu District Pubic Security Bureau, was sentenced to 15 years for taking bribes in June 2005. Yet in January 2007, she was released for medical treatment after her sister falsified medical documents calling for her release.

The paper has more:

An, a native of Hebei, was appointed chief of Luohu Public Security Bureau in 1997. She took bribes of 1.64 million yuan (US$269,000), HK$530,000 (US$87,000) and US$1,000 in exchange for giving out promotions, contracts for public projects and deals for procurement of official vehicles. All 15 people who bribed her were her subordinates at the bureau.

According to her sentencing, An should be in jail until October 2019, but she was released in January 2007 from a Hebei prison after no more than three years.

According to the newspaper report, quoting some people who were familiar with the case, An’s sister, An Huilian, falsified medical records and gave 200,000 yuan in bribes to prison staff at the Hebei prison to buy her out.

Xingtai prosecutors started investigating An Huilian in November last year and prosecuted her for giving bribes. Sun Hai, ex-director of the Hebei Prison Administration Bureau, was also probed for taking bribes.

According to related regulations, An still needs to serve more than 12 years before she completes her term.

The thin blue line, eh?


18,000 Corrupt Officials Have Fled to Canada, Australia and the United States

Posted: 10/29/2014 10:00 am

corrupt chinese officials in canadaWhile there is no public data on the number of corrupt officials that have fled China with their money and families, a report by MSN Money estimates anywhere from 4,000 to 18,000 of them have landed in Canada, Australia and the United States.

With so many corrupt officials taking off with China’s wealth, it’s difficult to know just how widespread the problem is. The government’s only comment on the issue was in October 2013, when prosecutor Zao Jianming acknowledged that there were 6,694 corrupt officials caught between 2008 and 2013.

Between 1992 and 2014, only 51 cases were made public: 21 were officials, 19 worked in state-owned enterprises, and 11 were in banking or related fields. The majority were accused of accepting bribes, misusing public funds, exploiting their position, laundering money, and other related white-collar crimes.

Although authorities insist that they are getting tougher on these fugitives, the central bank suggests increased monitoring in sensitive sectors, such as finance, or in any other field that includes a monopoly.

Photo: QQ News


China’s Government Officials Are Flooding Into America

Posted: 09/23/2014 3:09 pm
sleeping officials

After a lifetime of service to their country, some Chinese officials can’t wait to escape from it.

China’s government officials may be tasked with serving the country, but many are saving up just so they can leave it.

Naked officials” have come to prominence recently with over 1,000 Guangdong officials reprimanded for having moved their family and assets overseas. However, this doesn’t even scratch the surface. As reported by China Youth Report, Chinese officials have begun forming another demographic that have emigrated overseas to become investors in foreign real estate.

The report is heavily based upon an interview with Wu Guo, a wealthy businessman from Western China who now lives in an upper-class US neighborhood.

Wu’s neighbors and guanxi primarily consist of former Chinese officials who have also emigrated abroad. Wu mentioned an official in his 40s who worked in a railroad department. He decided he had saved enough money a couple of years ago so quit, got himself a fake vacation visa, then took his entire family to America.

These wealthy former Chinese officials primarily invest in real estate, which is common among other groups of Chinese overseas as well.

According to a July report by the US real estate brokers association (NAR), ethnic Chinese purchased $22 billion worth of real estate from April 2013 to March 2014. Chinese buyers were reported to have spent the most at $600,000 each on average. Furthermore, 76 percent of those purchases were made using cash.

An analysis by Yang Ping explains the reasoning behind the tendency to purchase real estate:

My investment may not make a profit, but it will be able to get me a green card.

In 2004 and 2005, Wu noticed a number of Chinese officials emigrating overseas, especially to Beverley Hills and Vancouver. Wu explains how they get away:

(Officials) of lower grade can apply using their own authentic identities. (Officials) with a higher grade will have to apply using a fake identity. Some still receive a salary from (the Chinese government) even after immigrating.

Wu also explains the plight of the “naked official”, and how their position puts them in a compromising position:

The wife and children have already been sent away, and they are getting ready themselves by procuring a green card. However, they are afraid of the risk during their green card application, and so don’t do it.

Once they’ve arrived though, they quickly realize things aren’t the same as they were back in China. Many of them are unable to assimilate into US local society or upper class social circles. Instead, they keep to themselves:

They have money, and so form their own circles. Every day these people eat and drink together, have tea, play mahjong.

But it’s real estate investor Chen Min that categorizes the worst corruption in China as coming from huge bureaucracies, or in distant places beyond the reach of the central government:

(These officials) will come from one of two places: from big cities like Beijing or Shanghai, or from tiny places that you have never heard of.

It comes down to this: A lifetime of toil and moral choices culminates in a decision to escape from the system that made you. Perhaps its for this reason that popular television show Prison Break enjoyed a huge following in China.


[h/t @ChuBailiang]

Photo: gzxw


Former TV Host Rui Chenggang Faces Spying Accusations, Broke Down In Tears

Posted: 09/19/2014 1:21 pm

rui chenggang

Hong Kong’s Apple Daily has published a sensational story today on Rui Chenggang, the disgraced former presenter at CCTV, claiming he divulged state secrets to foreign spy agencies and tried to smear the upper echelon of the Communist Party, among other scandalous claims. Rui was taken away by police in July this year.

Rui was a business anchor on CCTV famous for forcing Starbucks to exit the Forbidden City in 2006. According to the report, which cites a source from the disciplinary committee of the Chinese Communist Party, Rui reportedly cried at his interrogation earlier this year after being arrested, claiming he was a victim under the control of others.

Rui claims former President Hu Jintao’s former personal secretary, Ling Jihua, schemed to have his wife, Gu Liping, rape him to force Rui to establish a special relationship with her. Gu is 20 years older than Rui, and was said to have had a previous relationship with Rui in the mold of an ”older sister-younger brother”. Through his special relationship with Gu, Rui became a member of Ling’s inner clique. This is how Rui attained classified information on the government and economy.

Some suspect Ling himself is the focus of a graft investigation.

Rui admitted his criticisms of the west and patriotic diatribes were mean to be his “umbrella of protection” so he could stay in the good graces of the public and government. However, Rui is said to have shared Chinese secrets with a western agency that Chinese authorities accuse of conducting espionage.

Boxun, an overseas website that often publishes questionable information, said Rui had provided material to western reporters located in China that attempted to defame Xi Jinping and Wen Jiabao two years ago.

Rui has been very high profile, both in China and abroad. We reported earlier how Rui drew attention for his behavior in South Korea:

At a 2009 press conference with US President Barack Obama, Rui volunteered himself when the US President was instead seeking a question from the Korean press. As Rui explained at the time, “Unfortunately, I hate to disappoint you, President Obama, I’m actually Chinese. But I think I get to represent the entireAsia, part of the family on this side of the world.” and for arrogantly taking the floor to ask US President Barack Obama.

At their peak, Rui’s shows were watched by 300 million people each night.

Photo: wapvnet


Feeling Depressed and Suicidal in China? There’s an App For That

Posted: 09/12/2014 11:01 am

smart phone appIf you are clinically depressed in China, but don’t have access to a psychologist, you’re in luck! An app is being developed to prevent suicide and help those suffering from clinical depression, reports iFeng.

By monitoring the heart and brain, users of the app will be able to diagnose their own psychological well-being, and obtain treatment using online resources. Users can also make various inquires online and schedule appointments with a psychologist via the internet.

The project is a collaboration between the Beijing Huilongguan Hospital and the Beijing Psychological Crisis Research and Intervention Center.

The need for the app was presented very differently in various media outlets. Sina highlighted the recently publicized suicides of US actor, Robin Williams, and Chinese translator, Sun Chongdan. iFeng quoted a number of statistics, specifically that suicide was a top ten cause of death in China that claimed about 131,000 lives a year, particularly the elderly.

WSJ China Real Time noted the announcement of the app followed a recent spate of officials committing suicide in a year of frequent corruption investigations. More than three dozen officials, or employees, have committed suicide since early 2013, reported Caixin.

Although public stigma associated with mental illness may be waning in China, the public will have to wait between three and five years before the app is released. There is no word whether the app will be compatible with the next generation of the Apple iPhone.

In the meantime, the Chinese public will have to make do with the few psychologists it currently has. According to the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Atlas, China had 1.53 psychiatrists and 0.18 psychologists per 100,000 people in 2011.

[h/t WSJ China Real Time]

Photo: jyrb


Shanxi Officials, Upset Restaurant Has No Good Baijiu, Smashes the Place Up

Posted: 09/5/2014 11:02 am

The smashed table

Not every restaurant has thousands of yuan to buy fine Maotai wines or Huanghelou cigarettes to pander to pot-bellied Chinese officials. Just know that if such luxuries aren’t in the budget, you may want to screen your clientele.

On August 31, nine officials in Hongdong County, Shanxi Province, smashed a local restaurant and beat its manager after complaining the restaurant’s portion sizes were too small and its cigarettes and alcohol were of inferior quality, reported the People’s Daily.

It’s unclear which dishes were served by the restaurant but the so-called low-brow quality cigarettes and alcohol the officials were complaining about have been identified as Zhonghua cigarettes and 20 year-old Fenjiu that costs around RMB 300 a bottle. Perhaps not the Dom Pérignon of baijiu but probably pretty darn close.

The 20 year-old Fenjiu costs around RMB 300 a bottle.

The story came to light after an online user posted images of the smashed glass tables, broken plates and overturned chairs. According to the police report, the manager stated that not only did the officials vandalize the restaurant, they also refused to pay the RMB 2,000 tab ($326).

The central government has issued a series of anti-corruption regulations banning officials from participating in extravagant meals, receiving gifts or taking expensive business trips, but clearly the officials in faraway Shanxi province are not heeding Beijing’s call.

Here are more photos:

A pack of Zhonghua cigarettes costs dozens of yuan.

A turned chair

Photos: Weibo


Guangdong Official Found Not Guilty of Sexually Assaulting Tour Guide in Australia

Posted: 08/20/2014 8:44 am

Song Jingsong, deputy head of Guangdong Urban and Rural Planning and Design Institute, was accused of raping a tour guide in Australia.

A Guangdong official accused of sexually assaulting a university student tour guide was found not guilty by a local court in Australia after the second hearing of the case, reported Nandu on August 19. Song had been accused of two counts of digital rape and two of indecent assault, according to an Australian newspaper, The Age.

Song Jingsong, deputy head of Guangdong Urban and Rural Planning and Design Institute (an organization under the provincial government’s housing and urban-rural development department) travelled to Australia about one year ago. The tour guide, a 33-year old student, was assigned to Song’s government delegation. The two were observed to be  drunk and flirting after dinner, according to CCTV footage submitted from the hotel and Crown Casino.

A local Melbourne Magistrate Court heard the case early last year and granted Song bail last August. In his decision, the Judge found the prosecution’s evidence insufficient to support the conviction of four charges. The Judge also found that the jury could not determine if Song was aware the woman was not consenting to sexual activity, or may not have been consenting.

The prosecution, however, believed the case needed a further hearing and restricted Song from leaving the country, Nandu said. This time, the jury found Song not guilty on charges of rape and indecent assault on Monday, after just four days of the hearing, Nandu said.

The Guangdong government had stated that Song was on a private visit, and had not been sent by the Institute, reported Global Times. The story sparked anger among Internet users last year when news of Song’s arrest surfaced on Sina Weibo, after Chinese newspapers failed to report the story.

One user commented, “Now we have someone spreading the communist ‘seeds’ all over the world,” SCMP reported last year.

Photos: Hubei TV


CCTV Cuts Staff Salaries By 30%

Posted: 08/12/2014 3:25 pm

CCTV buildingCCTV has said it is cutting salaries across the board by 30%, and it may fall further in the future, reports iFeng.

While no official announcement has been made, iFeng has verified this news through a number of sources. CCTV employees have been directed not to disclose anything to the public. No reason for the drop has been given.

An unidentified employee of CCTV was quoted as saying:

Many colleagues have already prepared to leave their jobs. As well, the work morale is not high around here… Our salaries are already not very high. This demotion of our salaries is less than pathetic.

One high-profile staff member to leave is CCTV news anchor James Chau, who resigned his role as a prominent anchor of English-language broadcasts on Sunday night. It’s not clear if his resignation is related to the salary cut.

The disciplinary committee of the Chinese Communist Party has also reportedly set up a group to investigate the station two months ago.

Investigations are underway into a number of CCTV staff including famous hosts like Rui Chenggang and Ye Yingchun, CCTV Finance commissioner Guo Zhenxi, former CCTV Finance Deputy commissioner Li Yong, and CCTV documentary managers including Liu Wen.

Photo: xkyn


Drunk Police Officer Who Tumbled Down Stairs Hailed as Dying “In The Line of Duty”

Posted: 08/11/2014 8:00 am

The latest victim of China’s alcohol-soaked “ganbei” or “bottoms up” culture has been given a hero’s funeral. Zhu Ling, a local police officer in Anhui Province, died after drinking excessively at a police banquet and then falling down the stairs. According to a report in Nandu, that didn’t stop the police force from honoring him as an officer who died “in the line of duty”.

The “honor” could earn Zhu Ling’s family as much as RMB 13 million (US$2.1 million) in compensation. However, the package is subject to Zhu’s family signing a waiver absolving the local police bureau and the officers in attendance at the banquet of any liability.

In January, Zhu was sent to the Shanli Police Bureau for an exchange study along with four other police officers. The local bureau arranged a so-called “work dinner” upon their arrival. Thirteen police officers attended the banquet and eight of them drank a total of six bottles of rice spirits and 11 bottles of beer, according to a report by People’s Daily.

A copy of the agreement that would ask Zhu’s family to absolve the local police bureau of any responsibility.

Following the banquet, Zhu fell down a flight of stairs and landed on his head. He was pronounced dead on June 13 after more than five months of treatment.

Qimen County Police Bureau, which overseas the Shanli Police Bureau, offered the compensation which included RMB 7 million of work compensation and RMB 6 million in civil compensation from accompanying officers. While the incident occurred some time ago, the story has only recently come to public attention due to Zhu’s family going to the press.

Predictably, the news has caused an uproar on the Internet. One Weibo user wrote “(Expletive), drinking with leaders and indulging in corrupt activities is now called a duty! Laobaixing (ordinary people) pay for the bills, and now even the RMB 13 million compensation is from the laobaoxing. Why are Chinese laobaixing always wronged?”

The head of the Shanli Police Bureau was fired following the incident. After almost seven months of investigation, Zhu’s family still hasn’t received the results, according to People’s Daily.

 Photos: People’s Daily; Xinhua


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