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Public Opinion: How Can a County Executive’s Family Pay a 10M Yuan Ransom?

Some hot news spread on the Internet on February 10. It was about the ransom of a former county Communist Party Secretary (the highest-ranked official in the county). Huang Dongming,the  former Teng County Party Secretary of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, was kidnapped. The kidnappers asked for 30 million yuan (US$4.31 million) in ransom. Huang’s family paid 10 million yuan, but the kidnappers refused to release Huang. Then the family reported the kidnapping to the police who were able to rescue the hostage.

The public focus was on how Huang’s family could afford to pay 10 million yuan. Teng county is a very poor county in China and, on the surface, the officials’ salary is not high at all. Many commentators took it as indication that, in the past, Huang had collected a large amount of illegal money.

Also, several Chinese media reported on February 7 that Zhang Enliang, the former Hegang City Party Secretary in Heilongjiang Province, was accused of taking a bribe of 73 million yuan.

Official corruption is a severe problem in China that the authorities are unable to fix.

Source: Radio Free Asia, February 10, 2023