News / Asia

China's Anti-Corruption Drive Uncovers Scandals

VOA News
China’s high-profile anti-corruption push continues to make headlines, with a regular stream of officials brought down for abusing power.

One of the latest targets in the “fanfu” campaign--anti-corruption in Chinese -- is Wang Suyi, head of the United Front Work Department in the northern region of Inner Mongolia.

Wang's case follows the script of many other fallen Chinese officials whose crimes seem to be entangled in a web of greed and lust.

The mistress factor

The journalist who broke the news this week said a number of mistresses joined together and reported their lovers' corruption to the authorities.

The women said Wang had illegally amassed at least $16 million, kept a number of mistresses including a college student and a journalist, had dozens of properties, and embezzled funds. He also allegedly gave jobs to nearly 30 relatives.

As a result, Wang was fired from his posts for a “serious breach of party discipline,” a move that opens up the possibility for legal action.

Fu Hualing, a legal scholar at the University of Hong Kong, said that mistresses have become part of China's anti-graft efforts.

“Behind almost every corrupt official there is or there was a mistress or multiple mistresses,” he said, “The investigators know exactly what is happening, so the best way to investigate anyone they want to investigate is first locate the mistress.”

Angry mistresses often play an important role in uncovering officials' abuses, and their stories frequently drive publicity of the cases on the Internet.

Lei Zhengfu, a former regional Communist Party official (file photo)Lei Zhengfu, a former regional Communist Party official (file photo)
x
Lei Zhengfu, a former regional Communist Party official (file photo)
Lei Zhengfu, a former regional Communist Party official (file photo)
In late June, Lei Zhengfu, a former party official in the southern city of Chongqing, was given a 13 year prison sentence for corruption. According to the court, he had taken bribes nearly a half million dollars, a relatively small amount when compared to other cases of corruption in China.

Yet, his case drew especially broad notice because of his videotaped sexual encounters with a woman that were leaked on Chinese social media.

Despite the notoriety of such cases, Roderick MacFarquhar, a China specialist at Harvard University, said authorities have still not convinced the public that the campaign is addressing the core problem.

“Their reaction to the current campaign will continue to be cynicism that it doesn't expose really senior leaders,” he said.

Striking the “Big Tiger”

Some high ranking officials have been among the flurry of new cases. Yet in most cases the legal process has been slow, suggesting that authorities have not been able to agree on the charges they should face.

In a file picture taken on March 5, 2012, Chongqing mayor Bo Xilai (bottom C) attends the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.In a file picture taken on March 5, 2012, Chongqing mayor Bo Xilai (bottom C) attends the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
x
In a file picture taken on March 5, 2012, Chongqing mayor Bo Xilai (bottom C) attends the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
In a file picture taken on March 5, 2012, Chongqing mayor Bo Xilai (bottom C) attends the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
A prime example is Bo Xilai, once a promising young politician in charge of the city of Chongqing, whose political ascent was cut short after details emerged of his wife's involvement in the murder of a British business partner.

After seven months of investigations, the Party's internal anti-corruption agency cleared the way for legal prosecution last September, but so far no trial date has not been set.

“He is the big elephant in the room,” said Fu Hualing, “The Chinese government is very good in the beginning when they investigate someone, but then the cases would disappear in the system.”

Liu Tienan is another high profile case whose mistresses accused him of taking bribes. The senior economic policy maker is one of the highest ranking officials charged with corruption since Xi Jinping took power in March.

Liu, former deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, was dismissed from the party in May and is now under investigation. No date has been set for his trial.

Other analysts are more optimistic about the president’s anti-corruption bid.
Ren Jianming is director of the anti-corruption and governance research center at Beijing's Tsinghua University.

“After the last Party Congress there was a lot of expectation that the new leadership could do something meaningful on anti-corruption - like Xi Jinping said - that they could fight the big tiger [of corruption],” he said, “these recent cases do strike some cords.”

But Ren says that the impact of this campaign might only be short term. In the long run, history has showed that only deep reforms and independent inspection of party members can effectively curb corruption, he said. “It is very unlikely that we only rely on cadres disciplining themselves, or on monitoring done within the government itself.”

Road to promotion

In many corruption cases, the prosecution uncovers evidence of abuses that officials allegedly perpetrated while advancing their political careers.

That has been the case with Liu Zhijun, the former Minister of Railways.

Based on the evidence reported by China's news agencies, Liu had illegally benefited from his post from 1986 to 2011, accepting some $10 million in bribes.

“You are corrupt and you keep getting promoted,” said He Bing, Assistant Dean of the Law School at the China Political Science and Law University.

Liu, along with other corrupt senior officials currently under investigation, could face the death penalty or life in jail if found guilty.

He Bing said that the fact that senior officials are also being targeted might alert other, lower-ranked cadres.

“They might restrain themselves somewhat,” he said, “But the bigger phenomenon has clearly not been managed yet.”

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wangchuk from: NYC
July 11, 2013 10:18 AM
Ever since the Party forcibly took power in 1949, corruption has been a problem in the Party. Whenever you have a one-party dictatorship, corruption will be systemic. The Chinese public is cynical of these anti-corruption drives. Let Xi Jinping, Hu Jintao & Jiang Zemin be invesigated for corruption.


by: Anonymous
July 08, 2013 11:15 AM
disputed always made from china. they are troublemaker with russia in the world.
USA must take action to alert to china and russia. don't attempts to try to impact the safely in east-asian place.
the china communist want to stable to ruling in china,because now all information can be got by cyberworld(even now them can got foreign information(voa or bbc chinese version ) from QQ messenge if they have a foreigner friend include taiwan or hongkong ) ,the unstable has been happened

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid