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Officials Appreciate Petitioners’ Contribution to China’s GDP

According to a commentator at, “GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was originally an economic concept but in China it has become a political issue: everyone, from the central government to officials from local governments, is busy paying attention to GDP, day in and day out."

The Canyu commentator has personally met with several dozen victims of corrupt official’s abuse of power. These victims are called “petitioners” (访民). They have been visiting and mailing petition letters to governments at all levels for many years, asking the authorities to investigate the abuse. A few examples are Ms. Xia Shuli, who has been sending petitions for seven to eight years, Xu Jianjiao for seven years, Ding Yijuan for 16 years, and Shen Zhihua for 20 years. The Canyu commentator estimated that Ms. Xia Shuli alone has mailed 97 registered letters to the authorities in the last year. “Based on statistics, there are over 500,000 regular petitioners in China. If each one of them does what Ms. Xia has been doing, just in postage, these petitioners must cause GDP to increase by 625 million yuan each year. I wonder why the State doesn’t resolve petitioners’ grievances. One of the reasons is so that these petitioners can contribute to GDP.”

Source: Canyu, July 14, 2012