China Takes a Swing at Corruption, Executing One of Its Al Capones
July 16, 2010 by davidfday
The senior judicial official for the huge metropolis of Chongqing in Southwestern China was executed by lethal injection during the first week of July, 2010. Wen Qiang’s indictment, arrest, trial, sentencing and now execution this Spring and early Summer exploded into the public consciousness and media, opening up the dirty underbelly of China’s corruption-plagued legal system. Wen was convicted of multiple rapes, protecting underworld gangs & mobsters, bribery and had large unexplained amounts of cash and luxury villas. He was emblematic and symptomatic of big political bosses in the Judiciary and the CCP on the take. His sister-in-law, Xie Caiping, known in Chongqing as “The godmother of organized crime in Chongqing,” was sentenced to 18 years for running illegal casinos.
China’s corruption has become so rampant that the credibility of the CCP has been called into question. One commentator has noted that if China “wants to maintain the pace of rapid development, there needs to a purge to wipe out all the corrupted officials in the Communist Party.”
The Chinese courts are controlled by the Communist Party, and the massive corruption in the judicial system reflects directly upon the Party. With the credibility of the Party at stake, Chongqing’s massive anti-corruption crackdown has been led by an ambitious local party chief, Bo Xilai, who initiated a crackdown in Chongqing, arresting several other top judges for graft, including Huang Songyou, formerly vice president of the country’s highest court, The Supreme People’s Court (earlier this year, Huang received a life sentence for bribery and embezzlement).
The Chongqing anti-corruption crackdown has not only resulted in the execution of Wen Qiang, the former Director of the Chongqing Justice Bureau, but also to the prosecution of 90 other local officials. Of that number, interestingly, 42 were found guilty of sheltering mafia-like criminal gangs just like their big boss, Mr. Wen Qiang.
An intense, sustained anti-corruption effort over a generation or two (perhaps more) will be required for China to significantly curtail its endemic and systemic corruption problems. It remains to be seen whether the Wen Qiang execution will mark the beginning of that quest or whether it is eyewash.
May 6, 2009 by davidfday
This most recent PRC interference with a U.S. Navy ship in the Yellow sea these past few days appears consistent with an ongoing, stepped-up PRC policy looking towards an expansion of its territorial claims well into international waters. To be sure, China’s territorial waters claims are not new, it is just that we are now seeing more aggressive and confrontational action on the part of the PRC. This most recent China/U.S. naval confrontation in the Yellow Sea follows last month’s nearly mirror-image confrontations of the U.S. Impeccable in the South China sea. These events bear careful watching as they pose the risk of misunderstanding, miscalculation and injury not only to the U.S. and China, but to competing territorial claimants in the Region as well as international maritime players.
China’s Claim to the South China Sea
Complicating this picture, we need to be mindful that Hanoi, having finally resolved a 30-year northern border dispute with China, is beginning now to focus on its age-old dispute with China over the South China sea’s Paracel and Spratley Islands. While, to be sure there are other national interests claimed over these islands, the Vietnamese are the most likely to pose intense resistance to China’s claims in the South China Sea.
Known Oil fields Overlayed with Competing Territorial Claims
April 18, 2009 by davidfday
These two Videos, both dated April 17, 2009, illustrate the broad ends of the intellectual property spectrum vis.a.vis copyright infringement. Google setting up free downloads in China in concert with music labels in effort to capture part of share of advertising revenue. Essentially, this is the “Free” business model developing in the digital world.
On the very same date, contrast Google’s new tactic in China with the 2nd video which is the conviction of 4 persons involved in the Pirate Bay website in Sweden for the crime of copyright violations. This is the “classic” intellectual property prosecution which may become a thing of the past if the Google model in China really takes hold.