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Dealing with Widespread Illegal Land-Use

The Minister of Land and Resources, Xu Shaoshi, reported that more than 2,700 government officials face prosecution in 31,000 land-use violation cases.

Xu reported that 1.3 million hectares were used without authorization, about 20,000 hectares of land were taken over in the name of leases and 66,666 hectares were involved in the expansion of development zones. The courts have convicted more than 300 officials with fines and confiscating property worth 2 billion yuan ($276 million).

Land remains a steady source of fiscal revenue for local governments. To attract foreign investment, they offering investors cheap land. This practice has triggered outrage from the farmers, who are not properly compensated for the appropriated land.

Source: Website of The Ministry of Land and Resources, January 22, 2008
http://www.mlr.gov.cn/xwdt/jrxw/200801/t20080122_98401.htm

Chinese Communist Party Concerned About Declining Loyalty Among Members

In its publication on May 1, Qiushi Journal, the official publication of the Chinese Communist Party, carried an article written by Chen Yuanzhang, a Lieutenant General and Deputy Political Commissar of the Jinan Military District in Shandong Province. The title of the article is: "Strengthening the Loyalty of Chinese Communist Party Members." [1] The article called for an alert to the declining loyalty among party officials. Other news sources, including Xinhua, widely quoted the article [2].

Reports about Vice-Premier Huang Ju’s Death

On May 9, 2007, The Times (London) reported, "Huang Ju, China’s vice premier in charge of economic reform, the sixth most powerful official on China’s ruling Politburo Standing Committee, died this morning at the age of 69 after a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer." [1] Around 7 pm, Hong Kong based Phoenix TV, a TV station close to Beijing issued the same report of Huang’s death. That day, other Hong Kong media and international news agencies such as Reuters also carried the news.

Later that night, when Reuters called the State Council Information Office for confirmation, the State Council dismissed the news: "It is our understanding that news regarding comrade Huang Ju’s death is totally unfounded." [2]

China: an Increasingly Erotic Society

According to the official statistics, currently there are more than 370 million porn websites in China. Each day about 20,000 erotic photos are posted on the Internet, and 144 million poeple surf the web. Of those, 20 million are adolescents under 18. A speaker from the Public Security Bureau of China, Mr. Heping Wu, reported that 80% of the crimes that youth commit are due to the temptations from the web. The erotic information on the web indulges them and erodes their morality. As a result, they commit crimes and even large crimes. The majority consist of defrauding others, rape, robbery and stealing.

Chinese Vice Premier Huang Ju dies

Chinese Vice Premier Huang Ju, a protege of former President Jiang Zemin, died in Beijing early morning of June 2, 2007 after a long illness, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Huang ranked number six in China’s Communist political hierarchy. His death may intensify frictions between former President Jiang and those loyal to current President Hu Jintao.

Former Head of China’s Food and Drug Administration Sentenced to Death

Beijing First Intermediate Court sentenced Zheng Xiaoyu, the former head of China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) to death on May 29, 2007 for taking bribes totaling 649,000 RMB (US$848,366) from eight pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies and illegally approving their products. The unusual sentence is perceived as a political bid to rein in rampant corruption in China and as a means of dealing with foreign complaints about China’s corrupt pharmaceutical sector.