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Another Chinese Official Charged with Data Fraud

Sun Shutao, former vice chair of the Shandong Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), was recently expelled from the Chinese Communist Party and public office for falsifying economic data. This event follows the similar expulsion of former Jiangsu deputy party secretary Zhang Jinghua in May.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) charged Sun with falsifying data so as to achieve personal advancement. He was also charged with engaging in transactions for power, sex, and money. The CCDI stated that Sun illegally accepted huge amounts of property (i.e. bribes).

Mainland Chinese media noted that Sun is the third official who has been publicly charged with data falsification. Before Zhang Jinghua, official Kong Lingdong of Qinghai province was charged in September 2022.

The Chinese government has a reputation for data falsification. In March, National Bureau of Statistics director Kang Yi vowed to crack down on the phenomenon, announcing a zero-tolerance policy for falsification.

The expulsions of Sun, Zhang and Kong indicate the Chinese government’s stance on the manipulation of data for political advancement. Despite periodic crackdowns, however, there are fundamental political incentives in place that encourage such data falsification; the practice remains widespread as officials face intense pressure to meet economic targets.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), October 9, 2023