Chinese Official Posts Sold for Millions

By Wen Jun
Wen Jun
Wen Jun
January 20, 2013 Updated: October 1, 2015
Former Chinese regime head Jiang Zemin
Former Chinese regime head Jiang Zemin attends the 18th Party Congress on Oct. 15, 2007, in Beijing, China. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

A high ranking Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official attempted to buy a promotion from former CCP leader Jiang Zemin, with at least 30 million yuan (US$4.8 million), according to recent reports.

According to a February 2011 article published online by the China-based newspaper the Economic Observer, Liu Zhijun, China’s former railway minister who was expelled from the CCP over serious disciplinary violations, had colluded with a businesswoman named Ding Shumiao in a railway bidding project and received a US$132 million commission from her. Later reports by other news agencies put the sum at an even higher US$320 million. 

According to an insider, Liu had planned to use the money to buy the position of Vice Premier of the State Department, which would also make him a member of the Political Bureau, reported Hong Kong newspaper Mingpao.

Hong Kong’s Dongxiang Magazine published a recent article titled “The CCP Faces a Loyalty Crisis.” The article said, “There is an unanswered question in Liu’s ongoing corruption trial: Liu is a ministry-level official who wants to buy a promotion and become a vice premier. Who can he buy it from? The answer is simple. A ministry level official who wants to be promoted has to bribe at least half of the standing members in the Political Bureau, at a price of no less than 10 million yuan (US$1.6 million) per standing member. And should Liu choose to ask the favor of a retired heavy-weight leader who has the power to intervene or suggest his promotion, he will have to pay upwards of 30 million yuan (US$4.8 million).” 

The article added that “the CCP General Secretary also sold government positions.” This open secret of the CCP took place during Jiang Zemin’s tenure as CCP General Secretary and Party leader, lasting from the time Deng Xiaoping died until Jiang stepped down. 

The crisis of cadre’s loyalty to the Party formed a few years after the Tiananmen Massacre on June 4th 1989, and became an open issue when Deng died in 1997. Despite the unsolved loyalty crisis, Jiang still went ahead with the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, and continued to suppress religious beliefs such as underground Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism, and Uyghurs, the article said. Jiang also actively promoted his personal belief inside and outside the CCP: Quietly make a fortune and never mind the politics. 

The article commented that as a result, the ability of current Party leader Xi Jinping to accomplish Hu Jintao’s last wish will rely largely upon whether he will be able to change this view among Party officials.

Read the original Chinese article.

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Wen Jun