Thursday, July 26, 2007

Chen Liangyu Expelled from the Party

Top leaders of the Chinese Communist Party have decided to expel former Shanghai leader Chen Liangyu from the Party, and transfer his case to judicial departments, Xinhua reported today.

After almost a year of removing Chen from his official posts due to alleged corruptions, the Party finally announced such resolute handlings of Mr. Chen, and sent out a clear and loud anti-corruption message just a couple of months before the opening the 17th national convention of the Party.

“Anti-corruption struggle concerns wining or losing public support, the life and death of the Party, and the long period of peace and stability of the country,” Xinhua quoted an announcement released by the Party. “Within the Party, [we] need to make sure that at any time, no matter who, no matter how high the office, as long as someone violates the Party principles and the law, he will be seriously investigated and severely punished.”

The Party’s central disciplinary commission has found Chen Liangyu corrupt in many ways, including supporting illegal loaning of Shanghai social security funds to individuals and companies and therefore jeopardizing the safety of the funds, taking bribes in exchange for showing preference for certain parties when approving projects, as well as abusing his power for sex.

Support for Chen’s punishment has dominated online comments, and many netizens are calling for death penalty for Chen.

Xinhua report

Online comments

Friday, July 13, 2007

Chinese Netizens Hailed the Man who Once Sued Zheng Xiaoyu

Left: Gao Chun
Right: Zheng Xiaoyu

The execution of Mr. Zheng Xiaoyu, former director of China’s State Food & Drug Administration, did not stop the public from discussing the case on the Internet. On Friday, someone named Dongwufeng posted an article on BBS with the title: “Zheng Xiaoyu is dead; we can not forget a hero named Gao Chun.”

Gao Chun, a 41-year-old man from Hunan, gained his fame along with Mr. Zheng Xiaoyu’s fall. He was featured by mainland media as a hero who dared to challenge the corrupt system of Chinese government’s drug supervision and approval, despite his powerless status as a drug company pharmacist. People started to notice his story soon after Mr. Zheng was openly put under investigation.

For over a decade, Mr. Gao has kept reporting to authorities in Beijing, including Zheng Xiaoyu and his agency, about frauds he found with his company’s operation when seeking approval for new drugs back in the mid-1990s. For example, some of the “new drugs” were nothing but imported products from foreign drug companies, but were still approved to be registered as new products in China.

After many years, however, Mr. Gao never saw the head of the drug company received proper punishment and the SFDA never really responded to the alleged wrong doings. He lost his job, his pharmacist license and became a migrant worker. Still, he stuck to his course. In 2003, he sued to a Beijing court for the SFDA’s failure to do its job. The court refused to take the case.

Mr. Gao did not stop. One day in 2004, he called Mr. Zheng’s office. The then SFDA director yelled at him: “What right do you have to sue me? What right do you have to fight against me? I exercise power on behalf of the state!”

Mr. Zheng called Gao “the No.1 freak in the world” and Gao responded with calling Zheng “the No.1 corrupt official.”

Although Mr. Zheng’s fall had no direct connection with Mr. Gao’s unremitting petition and legal efforts, the public still admires his courage and perseverance.

“If we have many, many Gao Chun, corrupt officials will sure be scared,” one online comment reads.

There are also others who doubt people like Gao Chun would make much difference. One poster writes that so long as the entire system remains the same, people like Gao Chun could only be the targets of sever persecution by the powerful, or at best be hailed as hero after the fall of certain officials.

“While admiring Gao Chun, [I] feel sad for the country. Without proper check on power, kill one [corrupt official], more will come,” another comment says.

Public comments

Gao Chun’s story by Southern People Weekly

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Suicide Official Expelled from the Party

Mr. Song Pingshun

The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party has decided to expel Mr. Song Pingshun, a high profile official of Tianjin, from the Party, a decision coming nearly a month after Mr. Song killed himself.

Corruptions of Mr. Song were confirmed by the disciplinary commission of the Party, including keeping mistress and abusing his power to gain illegitimate benefits for his mistress, Xinhua reported. He committed suicide on June 3, the official news agency said.

Mr. Song, 62, was chairman of Tianjin Municipal Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a post he had held for more than four years. He was said to be the highest-ranked Chinese government official who committed suicide amid corruption investigations in 30 years.

After his sudden death, news about the incident mostly appeared in overseas media in early June. The time and manner of his death varied in different news stories, with some reporting he jumped off his office building, some believing he took overdose drugs, and one story even saying he cut his neck. The latest Xinhua release did not mention how he died.

Xinhua story