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

Report: $60 Billion Leaves Africa Illegally Each Year

Report by a joint UN and African Union panel says African countries need to take concrete measures to stop billions of dollars from illegally being moved out of continent each year More

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Some analysts say Russian Tu-95 bombers were flying near British airspace to warn Britain about an inquest into a murdered Russian spy More

Mugabe Defends Image Amid Controversy at Close of AU Summit

He rejects concerns about how the West might perceive his leadership, saying he's focused on African development 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.
Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relationsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
January 31, 2015 10:50 PM
Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Neighborhood Divided Over Conflict

People in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk districts find themselves squarely in the path of advancing Russian-backed rebels, who want to take back the territory they held at the beginning of the conflict last year. Many local residents are afraid, but others would welcome the change, even when a rebel shell lands in their neighborhood. From the Luhansk district, 15 kilometers from where the Ukrainian government marks the front line, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid