Officials Call for Governor’s Resignation Over Shenyang Strike
Officials Call for Governor’s Resignation Over Shenyang Strike

Shenyang's business district has been a ghost town. (Liu Siyu/Weibo.com)

A large group of officials in Liaoning Province have written to Party central authorities calling for the resignation of the governor of the province, Chen Zhenggao, according to a Chinese dissident website.

The 96 officials, all of them deputies of the People’s Congress and the People’s Political Consultative Conference, a Communist Party-affiliated legislature and advisory body, are concerned that a merchants’ strike in Shenyang city is spreading elsewhere in the province. Boxun identified most of the officials as having ties with business circles.

The letter also asked Party Central to investigate the cause of the strike and the businesses owners’ grievances. 

Shenyang city officials in recent weeks began extorting businesses, under the banner of cracking down on counterfeit goods, in order to raise funds to pay for the National Games that will be held in the city in 2013. The Games is the largest sports event in China, held every four years.

Party agents would stage surprise inspections, then accuse businesses of fraud, counterfeiting products or embezzlement, and levy steep fines as a punishment for the fictitious offenses.

According to The Associated Press, anecdotes online said that grocery store owners were being fined 60,000 yuan ($9,413) if they sold toothpicks without a forestry license; and for every fly found in a restaurant, the owner would be fined 10,000 yuan ($1,569).

Rather than pay up, many businesses in Shenyang simply shut their doors; unconfirmed reports online said that 90 percent of businesses in the city had gone on strike.

Boxun said it was told the news by a deputy-director level cadre at the Office of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress of Shenyang on Aug. 7. 

Incidentally, Chen Zhenggao was placed on a list of 11,000 officials who have participated in the persecution of Falun Gong, and labelled a “villain” by a Taiwanese-based activist group calling itself the “No CCP Villain International Alliance.” Chen was accused by the group of participating in or facilitating the persecution. 

Read original Chinese article.

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