Cleaning Out Beijing: Anti-Corruption Campaign Nabs 80 Officials in Four Months
In the first four months of this year, anti-corruption authorities in China’s capital have investigated 80 officials for violation of Communist Party discipline. Three-quarters have been prosecuted.
On May 10, the Beijing Commission for Discipline Inspection reported by way of its official China Supervision for Law and Order Newspaper that it is hiring special “contract inspectors” to carry out both public and secret investigations of Beijing’s officialdom.
The officials were implicated for the usual charge of “violating Party discipline,” i.e. accepting bribes, soliciting prostitutes, and the like.
Wang Haisheng, director for China Telecom’s Beijing office, came under the hammer of Party discipline when he used public funds to hire masseuses and on at least one occasion see a prostitute, Chinese media Sina reported on May 7. The state-run firm director was stripped of his positions and Communist Party membership.
The same day, Chinese magazine Caixin reported that Qiao Rui, deputy director of finance office for the standing committee of the Beijing’s People’s Congress and former deputy director of Hua Xia Bank and former President of Beijing Rural Commercial Bank, was taken away by discipline inspection officers last month.
Qiao underwent “shuanggui,” a shady extralegal tool commonly used by the disciplinary agency to investigate and interrogate Party officials. The Chinese term, meaning “double designation,” describes a process whereby the official being investigated is held by the authorities at a certain time and place, for an indefinite period. In some cases, those subjected to shuanggui have been tortured and even murdered to extract information and confessions.
Hua Xia Bank, founded in 1992, is a publicly traded bank in the People’s Republic of China. It is based in Beijing. As of 2011, Germany’s Deutsche Bank held a fifth of the bank’s shares.