SCMP reports: “Corruption investigations of Guangdong officials in recent weeks have cast a light on loopholes and poor oversight involving the disclosure of assets, as well as highlighting the poor standing of authorities in the public eye.
“The latest disgraced official to be placed under party investigation, on Monday, was the political commissar of the urban management bureau in Guangzhou’s Panyu district – two weeks after internet users found that he owned 22 properties valued at more than 35.5 million yuan (US$5.57 million), according to a report in The Southern Metropolis News.
“Cai Bin allegedly took bribes and illegally operated a private business since 2000, as Panyu’s deputy police bureau chief and as urban management commissar.
“Despite his monthly salary of 10,000 yuan (US$1,570) as a political commissar, Cai and his wife and son were found to own nearly 7,000 square metres of property – a luxury villa, six flats, nine shops, two factories and four parking spaces – in Guangzhou’s Panyu and Nansha districts. One of his 500-square-metre flats reportedly cost 10 million yuan (US$1.57 million).”
Cai has only two properties registered in his name. All the others are placed under his wife’s and son’s names.
“It should not take anti-corruption officials 12 years to find out that a cadre owns 22 properties. And if the watchdog could miss that, it seems highly likely that it would find more problematic officials if the local land and resources bureau was asked to provide its investigators access to the database of registered owners.”
“Sadly, Cai is not the only cadre who was recently caught living a secret life of luxury. Just a few days after the Panyu political commissar scandal broke earlier this month, a party boss of Dongguan’s Zhongtang village was also placed under investigation after angry internet users revealed that he owned a luxury villa in a 7,000-square-metre compound.”
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SCMP reports: “In late September of last year, thousands of villagers gathered in Wukan to fight for the return of their land, seized by corrupt officials in illegal land grabs. They defied armed security personnel, and in December demanded justice after protest leader Xue Jinbo died in custody.
“Early this year, they voted in elections for a new seven-member village committee, replacing one sacked by the provincial government following months of protests. Instead of sending in troops to break up the protests, Guangdong’s Communist Party secretary, Wang Yang, ordered a peaceful resolution, seeking to defuse tensions through mediation, investigation and the sacking of party officials.
“The Wukan protests, their peaceful resolution and consequent direct, grass-roots elections – deemed free, fair and transparent – have been hailed as a landmark model for others to follow on the mainland.
“‘From resistance to realising direct election, we have come a long way,’ deputy village chief Yang Semao said. ‘But there is still much to work on in our fight for grass-roots democracy in China.
“‘For instance, we’ve posted notices informing villagers of the latest issues, such as construction projects or returned land, but many don’t bother to read them, or can’t because they are illiterate. Then they end up accusing us of hiding village affairs from them, which is very frustrating.’”
“By early last month, 227 hectares of the 446 hectares of land lost in illegal land grabs had been returned to the village. However, about a third of that was residential land belonging to individuals, and not part of the communal pool.”
“The cash-strapped village government has almost no revenue, because it has decided against levying charges on villagers who have been running small shops outside their homes in the wake of the land-grab turmoil.
“‘It is futile to talk about anything else, including democracy, without an economic foundation,’ said party secretary and village chief Lin Zuluan .”
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Nangfang Daily says that Guangdong party boss Wang Yang’s anti-corruption campaign has snared 132 officials since February.
Guangzhou City Discipline Inspection Commission said yesterday on its official microblog that the cases of serious economic crimes of the city’s former deputy police chief, He Jing and the former publisher of the official Guangzhou Daily, Dai Yuqing, had been transferred to the procuratorate.
According to China News Services, Guangzhou Bureau of Corruption Prevention said at a press conference a week ago that He Jing had several mistresses for a long time and held a large amount of wealth and property from unidentified sources since 2003 when he was the chief of the Baiyun District Bureau of Public Security. He was later promoted to the post of deputy chief of police in Guangzhou.
Dai Yuqing who also serves as deputy director of the Economic Affairs Committee of Guangzhou’s Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, will be prosecuted for abusing power in promoting his subordinates and taking bribes between 2006 and 2011.
SCMP’s Mimi Lau reports from Guangzhou: “Deputy police chief, who allegedly took protection money from clubs, is one of the most senior officials snared in Guangdong‘s anti-graft drive
“The deputy police chief in Guangzhou is under investigation for corruption, making him one of the most high-profile officials to be targeted under Guangdong party leader Wang Yang’s anti-graft campaign.
“He Jing, 55, who was also the police spokesman in Guangzhou, was arrested on August 10 for ‘severely breaching [Communist Party] discipline’, local media reported yesterday, citing a Guangzhou anti-graft watchdog.
“Several police sources yesterday said that He allegedly charged fees to nightclubs and shady businesses in downtown Guangzhou and rural Huadu district in exchange for his protection. Other reports said He was suspected of buying and selling senior police appointments.”
“He is the most senior Guangzhou police official netted in Wang’s anti-graft campaign, launched this year, against corrupt officials, counterfeit goods and illegal market practices.
“More than 1,000 party officials and civil servants have been arrested as a result of the campaign since February.”
SCMP says: “Party boss Wang Yang wins go-ahead to pilot reforms ahead of reshuffle of top leadership
“Beijing gave approval yesterday for Guangdong to explore streamlining bureaucratic red tape, which may set an example for the rest of the country. It may also afford provincial party boss Wang Yang more leverage in political jockeying ahead of this autumn’s party congress, analysts said.
“The go-ahead, from the State Council, designates Guangdong as a pilot region for the reforms, officially called the administrative examination and approval system, between now and 2015.
“The State Council also announced a decision to cut or streamline 314 types of government approvals, mostly related to non-financial sectors, small business and private investments, following a meeting yesterday chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao. The latest clean-up is part of the central government’s attempt to address over-regulation, which some economists have criticised.”
SCMP says, “Guangdong authorities have shut down at least seven Shenzhen non-governmental groups that advocate for the rights of migrant workers.
“Veteran labour-rights activists have described the five-month crackdown as unprecedented.”
“Several activists told the South China Morning Post that they were evicted from their offices after their landlords were pressured by officials who conducted frequent checks of the facilities.
“Mainland labour-rights NGOs often report of harassment from the authorities, who fear that foreign-funded and lobbying groups could organise large-scale strikes, incite protests or trigger social unrest.”
Hong Kong’s Singtao Daily reports, “at a meeting in Zhongshan City on July 19, Politburo member and Guangdong party boss Wang Yang said, “We fell earlier than others and will rise earlier when we rise.” He pointed out that since Guangdong growth rate began to fall at the end of last year, there had already been a trend of stabilizing.
In the 1st and 2nd quarters of this year, Guangdong’s GDP growth rate was respectively 7.2% and 7.6%, but it has begun to stabilize. Wang Yang said It was related to the development of market economy. “We fell earlier than others and will rise earlier when we rise.” However, judging by overall situation, economic growth rate has decreased and there has been a greater downward pressure on the economy. This also indicates that our ability of innovation and creation is not strong enough. If an enterprise is sufficiently strong in its ability of innovation and creation, it may rise in spite of the downward trend.
Wang Yang said, “Our products will be unmarketable if we remain unable to innovate and create.” He pointed out that in a market economy, survival of the fittest is realized through cyclical fluctuation. Each economic fluctuation may lead to the birth of a new technology and give rise to improvement of the productive force. The constantly changing complicated economic situation at home and abroad has made Guangdong face great challenge. However, it also constitutes a mechanism to force Guangdong to enhance its innovative and creative capability in science and technology and has thus brought opportunities.
Wang Yang said that there are a lot to do in Guangdong in informatization, including supporting existing B2C E-business enterprises to grow bigger and stronger, providing incentive to make more such enterprises enter Guangdong market, etc.
This writer believes that Wang Yang is a promising talented leader and will certainly be promoted at the 18th Congress.
I will keep on providing news about Chinese leaders’ talents and their ways to ensure fast economic growth for the purpose to tell American people to be on alert. They have to continue to improve their democracy to ensure the election of talented leaders. The current presidential candidates are disappointing. They focus on attacking each other but cannot put forward any plan to improve American economy.
Wang is wise in stressing innovation and creation in order to produce better marketable products while American president candidates are stressing bringing jobs from countries with cheap labor back to the US where labor is much more expensive. Development of science and new technology to produce products with better quality and lower costs is Wang Yang’s much better approach to face the challenge.
Guangdong, a pioneer province for reform, is now under unexpectedly great economic downturn pressure.
In its report yesterday, China’s official media chinanews.com says “Guangdong Governor Zhu Xiaodan said at a meeting to analyze the economic situation in the first six months this year held on July 11 by the provincial government that though there has been a trend of stabilizing at the bottom of economic growth in Guangdong’s economic development, since the beginning of this year the pressure of economic downturn has exceeded people’s expectation at the beginning of this year. The growth rates of GDP, investment, consumption, import and export, financial income, etc. all fell below the expected development targets for the year.”
According to official estimates, in the first six months, Guangdong Province realized a GDP of 2,665.9 billion yuan (US$418.54 billion), an increase of 7.4% over the same period last year; the total amount of fix-asset investment throughout the province was 769.75 billion yuan (US$120.85 billion), an increase of 10.1%; total retails sales of consumer goods for the communities throughout the province amounted to 1,085.03 billion yuan (US$170.35 billion), an increase of 11.5%; and export amounted to US$218.52 billion, an increase of 6.9%. Expenditures on people’s livelihood amounted to 178.93 billion yuan (US$28.09 billion), an increase of 12.2%.
Zhu Xiaodan said that judging by the above figures, a trend of stabilizing at bottom has emerged in Guangdong’s economic development. Pattern transformation and upgrading in industries have sped up, investment structure has been optimized further, sound progress has been made in energy conservation and reduction of materials consumption, and the structure of foreign trade keeps on optimizing. However, people shall see soberly that since the beginning of this year the pressure of economic downturn has greatly exceeded people’s expectation at the beginning of this year. This in essence reflects the combined effect of the long-accumulated structural contradiction and the factor of cyclical economic fluctuation. It puts Guangdong under the dual pressures of stabilizing growth and readjusting structure.
Zhu Xiadan pointed out that in spite of the emergence of the stabilization at a lower growth rate in Guangdong’s economic development, the downturn pressure in the second half of the year is after all not easing and the difficulties and risks the province may face in its economic development shall not be underestimated. All areas and departments in the province must enhance their awareness of the troubles ahead.
Zhu Xiaodan called on Guangdong to make utmost efforts in the later half of this year to turn around the continuous decrease of investment and regard it as the priority among all the priorities in expanding domestic demand and stabilizing growth. At the same time, it shall step up putting forward the policies and measures to promote service trade and speed up development, boost the implementation of the policies and measures of fostering domestic transnational companies, stimulate the development of key projects abroad and major transnational takeover and merger and continue to promote pattern transformation and upgrading in industries, boost harmonized development of scientific, technological and financial industries, help enterprises tide over crises and transform their development patterns and do sound good jobs related to people’s livelihood.
Rising concern on Guangdong waste water
SCMP says, “Guangdong produced more than 100 million tonnes of additional waste water last year compared with the previous year, raising concerns about the impact on rivers, where three quarters of the province’s waste water was discharged.
“A report on the quality of Guangdong’s water resources for 2011, compiled by the provincial department of water resources, said more than 12.5 billion tonnes of waste water – 55 per cent of which was industrial, while the rest was domestic sewage – was produced across Guangdong, the Guangzhou Daily reported yesterday.
“Though it said about 75 per cent of the discharged water had been flushed into the province’s rivers, the report did not say how much of the waste water had been properly treated beforehand.”
“The report said fewer than 40 per cent of the rivers and lakes the department monitored met water quality standards.”
SCMP says, “Guangdong officials may have a hard time escaping the heat this summer, as provincial party boss Wang Yang appears poised to escalate his campaign against corrupt cadres – especially as it promises to further increase his political capital ahead of the 18th Communist Party congress.
“The party secretary told government officials last week Guangdong’s graft-busters would offer no quarter to bureaucrats and party leaders cheating the system for personal gain. ‘We must fight corruption with extreme determination, courage and persistence in order to maintain the advancement and purity of the Chinese Communist Party,’ he said, according to mainland media.
“‘We will not offer any appeasement to corrupt parties.’”