Two other death sentences were handed down for non-violence crimes (as the Western media interpret it) at the end of the year within the framework of the Yan da (Strike Hard) campaign, which was started in China eight months ago.
The scale of Li Feng and Cheng Jiang’s fraudulent tricks in the total sum of $60 million makes us turn to Deng Xiaoping.
“What is happening to us? It has not been even a couple of years, since we started the course of transparency on the outside, the economic revival, but so many clerks have decayed,” – he was claiming in April of 1982 at the session devoted to the economic crimes issue. The architect of the reform reminded that a person, who stole a thousand of yuans, was called a small tiger, a person, who stole 10 thousand yuans, was called a big tiger, but now there are “gigantic tigers.” The sums of the embezzlement and the damage caused are evaluated in five digit numbers. What would the architect of the reforms say, if he were alive to see the present situation, when even ten digit numbers are used already, speaking of embezzlement? It seems that even the definition of “super-dragons” would be a weak one to use in that respect.
The Western mass media always link the Strike Hard campaign with the Shijiazhuang case, when one vindictive recidivist blew up four apartment buildings, killing 108 people. But how can we perceive the statement from the Chinese Prosecutor General, who said that the prosecuting bodies solved 25.073 crimes over six months of the current year – the crimes, committed by clerks, in which there were 27.793 party and state officials involved?
Here is a selective chronology of events, how “the white-collar-crimes” were suppressed.
February: Chinese official Xinhua news agency reported about the execution of the extreme penalty to seven people, who had embezzled millions of dollars, avoiding the import duties.
March: Another group of seven people was sentenced to death (from the Shanghai province of Guangdong), including two fiscal police officials and a prosecutor. This was again about the tricks with the import duties evasion and the falsification of export documents to avoid tax payments (the exported goods are released of tax payments as an incentive). In other words, the goods were sold on the home market, sometimes shipping empty containers abroad as a blind - that gave millions of profit.
May: Four people were executed for falsification of the export documents.
October: Five people were sentenced to the extreme penalty for bribery and embezzlement, including the mayor of one of the largest cities of the country.
Many of the listed scandalous cases were an echo of an affair in Xiamen, which shocked China a year ago. The authorities of this southern city in the province of Fujian believed the benefits they had from the status of a special economic zone, were not enough. The network embraced hundreds of officials from the law-enforcement bodies, from the customs and fiscal police, from financial institutions. They managed to illegally export 4.5 million tons of crude and 450 thousand tons of sunflower oil, 3588 cars, and also cigarettes, medicines, electric appliances. The total cost of the contraband goods is 6.38 billion dollars - more than the annual import of goods from Russia to China! The sum of the unpaid customs duties is 3.6 billion US dollars. The governor of Fujian province was said to be involved in the criminal affair, as well as the deputy minister for the public security of China, and even the chief of the Chinese military intelligence! Over 200 people were arrested on that affair. The organizer of that all escaped first in Hong Kong, then to Canada and the Canadian law-enforcement bodies refused to extradite him to the Chinese authorities, because he asked for a political shelter.
Although there is corruption in every country, the most nutritious ground for corruption is the market environment. People from Hong Kong, Taiwan are very often involved in the corruption in China. However, the Chinese corruption has its own peculiar driving forces. There is a powerful state sector preserved in the economy of the country at the current situation of the market relations, but the process of the structural transformation of that state sector is inevitably accompanied with “underground privatization,” or the plundering of the state property, in other words. The aspiration to the creation of the primary capital motivates the behavior of different officials, who do not disdain the power-money trade.
When China joins the WTO, this will given an incentive to the development of the marketing and therefore, “the deepening of the state property reform.” The foreign capital will get involved in the underground privatization. But the government does not intend to make up with such a transformation either: the Strike Hard campaign is becoming permanent.
Andrey Krushinsky PRAVDA.Ru Beijing
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov