Last week a Chinese airline was called back to Beijing after 7 hours in the air flying to New York. Internet rumors had it that a politburo level official, who was fleeing China, was on the plane. The rumors prompted current references to information that had been published about officials fleeing the country.
China Economic Weekly under the People’s Daily featured an article in its 22nd Issue of 2012 on Communist Party officials fleeing China with large amounts of money. The article cited statistics released last year by China’s Academy of Social Science. It stated that 16,000 to 18,000 Party officials have fled the country since the mid 1990s, taking 800 billion yuan with them. For example, between August 3 and 5, 2003, on the eve of the effective date of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in China, Chinese customs authorities captured over 60 officials trying to exit China. One of them was carrying 600,000 Euros. The two UN conventions became effective in China on September 29, 2003. Within 24 hours, starting on the night of September 30, 2003, 51 Party officials were arrested at airports while trying to flee China.
Radio Free Asia, September 5, 2012
China Economic Weekly, June 4, 2012