China: Little Officials, Giant Corruption


In its report “China anti-graft watchdog finds gold, cash in official’s home” today, Reuters says that according to Chinese state media, China’s anti-graft watchdog has discovered 37 kg (82 lbs) of gold, documents for 68 houses and 120 million yuan ($19.6 million) in cash in the home of a Communist Party official who is being investigated for corruption.

It says, “state news agency Xinhua called it ‘shocking’”, but the “case was among several other similar corruption cases in Hebei that Xinhua has dubbed ‘Little officials, Giant corruption’”.

The case reflects the dire situation of corruption in China. In fact such phenomena of low officials’ giant corruption are by no means uncommon. As far back as in November 28, 2012, SCMP said in its report, “A village deputy head has been suspended from his office and is being investigated for allegedly owning more than 80 properties and 20 cars, valued at over 2 billion yuan (US$320 million), a district-level government spokesman in Shenzhen said yesterday.”
The following is the full text of Reuters report today:

China anti-graft watchdog finds gold, cash in official’s home

China’s anti-graft watchdog has discovered 37 kg (82 lbs) of gold, documents for 68 houses and 120 million yuan ($19.6 million) in cash in the home of a Communist Party official who is being investigated for corruption, state media said.

The amount seized in the home of Ma Chaoqun, the former manager of the Beidaihe Water Supply Corporation, was so large that state news agency Xinhua called it “shocking”.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in Hebei has accused Ma of bribery, embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds, according to the Beijing News newspaper.

Ma’s case was among several other similar corruption cases in Hebei that Xinhua has dubbed “Little officials, Giant corruption”.

“The amount of money involved in these cases is huge and it happened among the people,” Xinhua said. “The social influence is bad and the masses have reacted strongly.”

Wang Ying, a senior official with the central inspection team, said investigators were now planning to turn the spotlight onto state-owned companies after two years of checking on party members and provincial government departments.

Four previous rounds of inspections had covered seven public service institutes, six state-owned enterprises and two universities, added Wang, whose remarks were reported by Xinhua.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to target high-ranking “tigers” as well as lowly “flies” in an extensive campaign against corruption.

The crackdown has come as the government seeks to push forward a wider campaign against extravagance and decadence.

Source: Reuters “China anti-graft watchdog finds gold, cash in official’s home”

Source: SCMP “Shenzhen official being probed for assets worth two billion yuan”

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