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A New Bribery Record for Chinese Communist Official: over 300 million Yuan (~US$45 Million)

On October 21, in the Heilongjiang Province Intermediate People’s Court, Yu Tieyi, former Deputy General Manager for the Material Supply Subsidiary of Heilongjiang Long Coal Mining Holding Group Co., Ltd. (referred to as Long Coal Group) was sentenced to death with a two-year suspension and life-term imprisonment for accepting bribes in the amount of 300 million yuan (~US$45 million).

This is by far the largest amount that the courts have ever found in any bribery case. Yu Tieyi, the recipient of 300 million yuan in bribes, has become the third government official to be imprisoned for a lifetime term, followed by Bai Enpei, former Vice Chairman of the National People’s Congress Environmental and Resources Protection Committee, (246.8 million yuan in bribes), and Wei Pengyuan, former Deputy Director of Coal Division of the National Energy Board (211.7 million yuan).

Yu Tieyi is a deputy department level official.

Source: Beijing News, October 22, 2016

Central Inspection Team: Ministry of Public Safety Is Weak on Anti-Corruption

Singapore’s primary Chinese newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that, according to the Central Discipline Inspection Commission (CDIC) of the Chinese Communist Party, the Party’s Central Inspection Team concluded that the Ministry of Public Safety demonstrated weaknesses in the anti-corruption movement. The Ministry is required to adjust and to fix the issues. The Ministry is in charge of all of China’s police departments and was a key branch under the control of Zhou Yongkang, who was a former Party Politburo Standing Committee member and was imprisoned for bribery, abuse of power, and the intentional disclosure of state secrets. The CDIC Inspection Team also found the Ministry did not “strictly enforce the law in a fair and civilized manner.” In addition, the Team also discovered irregularities in human resource management and a “lack of political sensitivity” that led to further investigations. The Minister of Public Safety, Guo Shengkun, said he’ll take this opportunity to reform the Ministry.

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, October 18, 2016

China Times: Ninety Percent of Pension Fund Individual Accounts Are Empty

China Times, a national daily newspaper focusing on economic and financial news, recently reported that the Social Security and Insurance Administrative Center of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) released its 2015 Annual Report on Social Security and Insurance Developments. The Report showed that, last year, six provinces suffered a loss in pension funds and the money in individual accounts declined by one third. On a national level, by the end of 2015, the entire amount of Pension Fund Individual Accounts was valued at RMB 4,714.4 billion (around US$700 billion). However, the statistics in the Report indicated that only ten percent of that total was actually funded with available money. With a rapidly aging population, China’s pension funds face more and more funding issues, and there is a discussion underway to convert individual accounts to “nominal accounts.”

Source: China Times, October 14, 2016

BBC Chinese: Former General Proposed Reunification of Taiwan by Force

BBC Chinese recently reported that Wang Hongguang, former Deputy Commander of the Nanjing Military Region, wrote a strategy paper proposing that the Mainland military initiate preparations for an armed invasion for the reunification of Taiwan. Wang stated that, after she took office, newly elected Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen refused to mention the “One China Principle.” Instead, she repeatedly said things like, “Taiwan will not yield to China’s pressure.” According to China’s Anti-Secession Law, one of the conditions for an armed invasion is “the disappearance of the possibility of a peaceful reunification.” Wang declared that the Mainland will never “swallow the bitter fruit” of an independent Taiwan. However, analysts in Taiwan expressed their belief that it’s very unlikely the Mainland will conduct any meaningful military attacks any time soon, since China just started its military reforms at the beginning of the year, changing seven “military regions” to five “military theaters.” Major changes like this will require significant readjustments in organization, tactical strategy, and equipment. Given the size of the Mainland military, the adjustments will not be completed and the military will not be ready for war until after 2020.

Source: BBC Chinese, October 21, 2016

Xinhua: Sing Pao Chief Remains a “Fugitive”

In a recent article, Hong Kong-based Ta Kung Pao cited a dispatch from Xinhua, dated October 20, 2016, that the police still have a warrant out to arrest Gu Zhuoheng, the chief of Sing Pao Daily News. In the past several weeks, Hong Kong-based Sing Pao has been carrying front page commentaries harshly criticizing Beijing’s No. 3 leader, Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress.

Sing Pao, which is also known for its ties to Beijing, denied that Gu was a wanted man. It dismissed the attacks as being “some power’s” attempt at political revenge. Since late August, Sing Pao, with help from the central government’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong, has been criticizing Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying for escalating the confrontation. In early October, Sing Pao editorials named Jiang Zemin, former secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as Zhang Dejiang’s backer.

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