Former Chinese National Bureau of Statistics head Wang Baoan (王保安) was sentenced to life in prison for taking massive bribes over more than two decades — one of a spate of newly resolved public corruption cases involving almost US$100 million in money and illicit gifts.
Wang was accused of trading political favors for money, sex, gifts, property and business concessions, a court in Hebei Province and Xinhua news agency said.
The bribes reportedly worth 153 million yuan (US$22.4 million) were channeled to Wang either directly or through relatives.
Control over information, such as bank lending and local economic growth, is enormously valuable in China, where the government often operates in secret and officials are mainly evaluated for promotion based on their ability to meet economic development targets.
Wang’s sentencing was one of seven in corruption trials involving senior public officials reported on Wednesday and yesterday by Xinhua.
The cases involved a combined 650 million yuan in bribes, an enormous sum compared with the relatively modest salaries paid to public officials in China.
Four of the officials, including Wang, received life in prison.
Wang was accused of taking bribes between 1994 and last year, when he was expelled from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the investigation into his activities began. During that period, he also served in the State Administration of Taxation and the Ministry of Finance.
Three other former officials also received life sentences: former Ningbo mayor Lu Ziyue (盧子躍) for taking 148 million yuan in bribes between 1999 and last year; former member of the CCP’s standing committee in Henan Province Chen Xuefeng (陳雪楓) for taking bribes worth 125 million yuan between 2000 and 2015, and embezzling 5.5 million yuan of public funds; and former Guangdong Province vice governor Liu Zhigeng (劉志庚) for taking money and gifts worth 98 million yuan, Xinhua reported.
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
A squad of gun-toting police officers patrolled Myanmar’s sacred site of Bagan under the cover of night, taking on plunderers snatching relics from temples forsaken by tourists due to COVID-19 restrictions. Each evening as dusk falls, about 100 officers fan out across the plain of Bagan covering 50km2, sweeping flashlights over the crumbling monuments to scour for intruders. “Our security forces are patrolling day and night,” Police Lieutenant Colonel Sein Win told reporters. “We have it under control for the moment, but it’s a challenge.” The central Burmese city is strewn with more than 3,500 ancient monuments — stupas, temples, murals and sculptures