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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs