Former Political Star in China Is Under Party Investigation

New York Times
The Chinese Communist Party said on Monday that Sun Zhengcai, a high-flying politician who had been seen as a potential future premier, was under investigation over suspected “grave violations of discipline,” ending his career and raising the stakes...

Sinica Podcast

07.19.17

Guo Wengui: The Extraordinary Tale of a Chinese Billionaire Turned Dissident

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more
The life and times of Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui reads much like an epic play, so it is fitting that we have included with this podcast a dramatis personæ to explain the many characters in Guo’s story. Scroll to the bottom, below the...

Chinese Labor Activist Targeted over ‘Ivanka Trump Supplier Probe’

South China Morning Post
Hua Haifeng believes police arrested him and took a special interest in his work after he began investigating factories supplying Trump’s clothing brand

China’s Top Graft Buster Attacks ‘Unhealthy’ Political Culture

Reuters
China’s top graft-buster launched a scathing attack on the ruling Communist Party’s members on Monday, writing that party political culture remained ‘unhealthy’ and governance weak even after five years of renewed effort to fight the problem.

Fugitive Chinese Tycoon ‘Snoops on Middle Eastern Royal Families’ in Leaked Phone Messages

Nectar Gan
South China Morning Post
Recordings of what appear to be phone voice messages left by fugitive Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui requesting information about powerful royal family members in the Middle East and other international public figures have emerged online.

Guo Wengui Told Niece and Other Executives to Fraudulently Obtain Loans, Court Hears

Jun Mai
South China Morning Post
The niece of exiled tycoon Guo Wengui was one of three executives he instructed to use fake documents to obtain loans for his Henan real estate firm, a court in central China heard on Wednesday.

China Attacks Tycoon Guo for Client Leaks at HNA Group: Xinhua

Reuters
Exiled Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui is suspected of obtaining confidential client data of aviation-to-financial services conglomerate HNA from air traffic control and airline staff, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing Chinese police.

China Invites Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to Visit Beijing

Bloomberg
Details of the possible trip by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, both of whom have official jobs in the White House, were still under discussion, according to a U.S. official and a Chinese official who asked not to be identified. The visit may also...

Beijing Is Investigating Some of China’s Top Overseas Deal Makers

Wall Street Journal
China’s banking regulator is conducting a sweeping check on the borrowings of some of the country’s top overseas deal makers, according to people with knowledge of the matter, in one of the most forceful attempts yet to get a grip on runaway debt.

China Accuses 2 More Provinces Of Faking Data

Financial Times
China’s anti-corruption watchdog has highlighted fake economic data in the Northern provinces of Inner Mongolia and Jilin, in the country’s grain heartland.

World Asia China Cranks Up Heat on Exiled Tycoon Guo Wengui

Wall Street Journal
Beijing airs allegations involving whistleblowing businessman living in New York as subordinates are tried for fraud in unusually open proceedings.

Ivanka Trump’s Firm Seeks New Trademarks in China, Reviving Ethical Concerns

CNN
A trove of Chinese trademark applications filed by Ivanka Trump’s namesake business is focusing attention once again on the ethical complications presented by the Trump family’s business ties.

Activists Investigating Ivanka Trump’s China Shoe Factory Detained or Missing

Guardian
A labor activist working undercover investigating abuses at a Chinese factory that makes Ivanka Trump shoes has been detained by police and two others are missing, raising concerns the company’s ties to the U.S. president’s family may have led to...

Senate Democrats Ask Trump for Answers on China Trademarks

Voice of America
A group of Senate Democrats has sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump requesting information about a raft of trademark approvals from China this year that they say may violate the U.S. Constitution’s ban on gifts from foreign governments.

Trump Adds Another Chinese Trademark to His Portfolio

New York Times
China has granted President Trump preliminary approval for another trademark in apparel, expanding business interests that have already generated criticism over potential conflicts.

Kushner Company a No-Show at China Visa Event After Ethics Uproar

TRACY CONNOR
NBC News
Richard Painter, who was an ethics attorney for President George W. Bush, told NBC News last week that Saturday’s meeting in Shenzhen came “very, very close to solicitation of a bribe” and amounted to “corruption, pure and simple.”

Sinica Podcast

05.12.17

What It Takes to Be a Good China-Watcher

Kaiser Kuo & Bill Bishop from Sinica Podcast
China-watching isn’t what it used to be. Not too long ago, the field of international China studies was dominated by a few male Westerners with an encyclopedic knowledge of China, but with surprisingly little experience living in the country or...

The Princeling in the West Wing

JILL ABRAMSON
New York Times
Over the weekend, there was the unseemly spectacle of Jared Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, hawking golden visas to connected Chinese investors if they would put $500,000 into one of the Kushners’ real estate projects in Jersey City.

All Mapped Out: How China’s Charting Its Course as a Superpower

Daily Beast
In February, the French daily Le Monde published a map reportedly circulated by the Chinese military. It showed the People’s Republic in the center of the globe with all else shrinking away toward the edges: “The world turned upside down for anyone...

Books

04.05.17

China’s Crony Capitalism

Minxin Pei
When Deng Xiaoping launched China on the path to economic reform in the late 1970s, he vowed to build “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” More than three decades later, China’s efforts to modernize have yielded something very different from the working people’s paradise Deng envisioned: an incipient kleptocracy, characterized by endemic corruption, soaring income inequality, and growing social tensions. China’s Crony Capitalism traces the origins of China’s present-day troubles to the series of incomplete reforms from the post-Tiananmen era that decentralized the control of public property without clarifying its ownership.Beginning in the 1990s, changes in the control and ownership rights of state-owned assets allowed well-connected government officials and businessmen to amass huge fortunes through the systematic looting of state-owned property—in particular land, natural resources, and assets in state-run enterprises. Mustering compelling evidence from over two hundred corruption cases involving government and law enforcement officials, private businessmen, and organized crime members, Minxin Pei shows how collusion among elites has spawned an illicit market for power inside the party-state, in which bribes and official appointments are surreptitiously but routinely traded. This system of crony capitalism has created a legacy of criminality and entrenched privilege that will make any movement toward democracy difficult and disorderly.Rejecting conventional platitudes about the resilience of Chinese Communist Party rule, Pei gathers unambiguous evidence that beneath China’s facade of ever-expanding prosperity and power lies a Leninist state in an advanced stage of decay. —Harvard University Press{chop}

How China’s Insatiable Demand for Timber Threatens Congo’s Rainforests

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In this episode, award-winning Shanghai-based environmental journalist Shi Yi joins Eric and Cobus to discuss the emerging crisis over the illegal trade of Congolese bloodwood. She recently reported on how surging demand in China is fueling...

Conversation

01.18.17

U.S.-China Flashpoints in the Age of Trump

Zha Daojiong, Isaac Stone Fish & more
Over the past year, Donald Trump has vowed to “utterly destroy” ISIS, considered lifting sanctions on Russia, promised to cancel the Paris climate agreement and “dismantle” the Iran nuclear deal. But many of his most inflammatory statements are...

US University Admissions Officers Courted with Subsidized Trips to China

Coco Feng and Liao Yuanxin
Reports that Chinese education agencies buy US college admissions staff trips to China have fueled speculation that bribery is part of the recruitment process

JPMorgan Chase Paying $264 Million to Settle Allegations of Nepotism in China

Jim Zarroli
NPR
The bank isn't being formally charged, but by agreeing to pay the fines, it brings a three-year investigation by the U.S. government to a close...

U.S. Returns Chinese Fugitive After 13 Years on the Run

James Areddy
Wall Street Journal
The U.S. government sent back to China a former official long wanted on corruption charges, in an act hailed by Beijing as a major diplomatic success

Unswayed by Extraordinary Public Outcry, China Executes Nail Gun Killer

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
China sends messsage that ordinary people can’t take the law into their own hands, and the Communist Party is simply not going be swayed by a public outcry.

And the Award for ‘Best Corruption Apology by a Chinese Official’ Goes To…

Zheping Huang
Quartz
The winner so far is Li Chuncheng, former deputy party chief of Sichuan province, who is now serving 13 years’ jail time for abusing power and bribery

China Anti-Corruption Campaign Backfires

Hudson Lockett
Financial Times
Xi Jinping drive to cleanse Communist party of graft tarnishes its image

Media

09.29.16

How to Fix China’s Crooked Congress

Thomas Kellogg
Nearly four years into Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, Chinese citizens could be forgiven if their eyes glaze over at the news of yet another high official’s fall from grace. But even the most jaded likely could not ignore...

Mother’s Killing of 4 Children Reveals Cracks in Anti-Poverty Drive

Li Rongde, Xiao Hui, Huang Ziyi, and...
Corruption, red tape has led to most vulnerable citizens receiving little help

Chinese Business’ Complicated Role in Kenyan Corruption

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
One of the many simple, widely-believed narratives about the Chinese in Africa is that Chinese businesses fuel corruption across the continent. Chinese corporate corruption in Africa is well documented, from allegations of paying off corrupt...

China Says It Has Netted One-Third of Top Overseas Graft Suspects

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Over the past two years, the commission has returned to China 1,915 people from more than 70 countries.

China Should Let Soccer Fans Gamble

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
To save football from corruption, the betting should no longer be illicit...

Survey: Indian Firms Best, China Worst on Transparency

New York Times
The report highlighted the urgent need for big multinational companies to do more to fight corruption.

Nephew of China’s Former Domestic Security Tsar Jailed for Graft

Megha Rajagopalan
Channel NewsAsia
Zhou’s family has been ensnared in President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption, a broad campaign that has felled officials at all levels of government including many of Xi’s top political opponents.

China Steps up Panama Papers Censorship after Leaders' Relatives Named

Tom Phillips
Guardian
It's dangerous for higher leaders regarding internal party credibility as much as the broader public...

Conversation

04.06.16

China in the Panama Papers

Andrew J. Nathan, Bill Bishop & more
The overseas wealth of several relatives of senior Chinese leaders has come to light in an International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) report, part of the analysis by a group of media outlets of more than 11 million documents leaked...

China's Elite—including Xi Jinping—Are Linked to Offshore Deals That Hid Millions of Dollars

Zheping Huang
Quartz
At least eight top Chinese officials are implicated according to the leaked Panama Papers.

Caixin Media

03.23.16

Fall of Shanghai’s Utilities Chief Unravels Web of Corruption

A graft probe into the head of a state-run utilities firm in Shanghai put investigators on the trail of two top local government officials, people with knowledge of the matter say.Feng Jun, the former general manager of State Grid Shanghai Electric...

Caixin Media

02.29.16

Former Energy Official Says Police Tortured Him into Confessing

A former deputy director of National Energy Administration (NEA) on trial for taking bribes has pleaded not guilty because he says the charges are based on a false confession that was extracted via torture and intimidation, according to a person who...

Media

01.29.16

‘I Don't Want to Think About Activating Change’

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
In 2012, The New York Times published a groundbreaking investigative report showing that the family of Wen Jiabao, China’s then-prime minister, possessed wealth in excess of $2.7 billion. In response, the Chinese government blocked the Times’...

Viewpoint

01.28.16

The Trouble with Hong Kong’s Chief Executives

Denise Y. Ho & Alyssa King
On January 14, the trial of Sir Donald Tsang, Hong Kong’s former chief executive who served from 2005 to 2012, was set for January 3 of 2017. This past December, Tsang pleaded not guilty to two counts of misconduct in public office, charges on which...

Infographics

01.21.16

Visualizing China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

“Catching Tigers and Flies” is ChinaFile’s interactive tool for tracking and, we hope, better understanding the massive campaign against corruption that China’s President, Xi Jinping, launched shortly after he came to power in late 2012. It is designed to give users a sense of the scope and character of the anti-corruption campaign by graphically rendering information about more than 1,500 of its targets whose cases have been publicly announced in official Chinese sources. *ChinaFile updated the database for this tool through December 31, 2016. We hope to refresh it and continuing updating it in the spring of 2017. If you would like to be notified when we refresh the tool, please e-mail editors@chinafile.com

Wang Qishan, China’s Anti-Corruption Tsar

Jamil Anderlini
Financial Times
The anti-corruption drive has been the central policy of this administration and its duration and severity have surprised almost everyone, not least the bureaucrats who have been its primary targets.

China Vows to Keep High Pressure on Corruption

Hua Xia
Xinhua
The Communist Party of China will maintain a heavy-handed approach against corruption, “with unabated forces and unchanging rhythm.”

Caixin Media

01.04.16

How a Beijing Traffic Cop Lined His Pockets

After rising from beat cop to Beijing traffic manager, Song Jianguo used his position to trade favors for nearly 24 million yuan in cash and gold

Monthly Data Details China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

Hudson Lockett
China Economic Review
Data “supports the hypothesis that the pace of the corruption crackdown has slowed in quantity, but that the investigators are having more success in gaining prosecutions.”

China Suspends Death Sentence for Wife of Disgraced Official

Rishi Iyengar
Time
The murder of British businessman Neil Heywood sparked one of China's biggest political scandals...

China’s Anti-Corruption Cases Have Quadrupled Since 2013

Brian Spegele
WSJ: China Real Time Report
In Chinese business and political circles, conversations frequently return to a familiar question: When will President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign end?

Caixin Media

10.27.15

Does the Punishment Fit the Corruption?

After Chen Bokui, the deputy head of a government advisory body in the central province of Hubei, was convicted of taking 2.8 million yuan in bribes by a court in the eastern province of Fujian in April, he received a somewhat stiff sentence—17...

Media

09.28.15

What’s China’s Mood Under Xi? New Data Gives a Glimpse

David Wertime
China, under the presidency of Xi Jinping, has invited a number of breathless pronouncements about the state of the country. Chinese media regularly conjure the “Chinese Dream,” one of Xi’s favored phrases, which means whatever readers want it to...

Caixin Media

09.22.15

Chinese Contractor Finds Project in Bahamas Is No Day at Beach

A giant luxury resort planned on a beach outside the Bahamas’ capital, Nassau, that is supposed to be a showpiece to help China’s largest construction company tap the U.S. market has become a headache for both its builder and a lender.The resort was...

Caixin Media

08.11.15

Auditors Probe Sinopec, Savvy Broker in Angola

Government auditors are taking a closer look at U.S.$10 billion worth of offshore oil investments by state-run China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) that owe their existence to a Hong Kong businessman with a flair for networking in the...

China’s Role in Africa’s ‘Looting Machine’

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China goes to great lengths to differentiate its engagement in Africa from the continent’s former European colonizers by emphasizing so-called “win-win development.” Chinese leaders regularly visit Africa where they emphatically reject the...

Environment

08.05.15

High-Ranking Retired Environmental Protection Official Mired in Corruption Probe

from chinadialogue
Retired Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) Vice Minister Zhang Lijun has run afoul of the ongoing corruption crackdown, becoming the highest-ranking environmental official yet to be investigated.On Thursday, China’s anti-corruption watchdog...

China Probes Senior Xinjiang Security Official For Graft

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
A deputy regional security chief and former head of the prison system, Xie Hui, in Xinjiang has been put under investigation for suspected corruption.

China Reveals Misuse of $2.7 Billion in Lottery Funds

Sui-Lee Wee
Reuters
China uncovered the misappropriation of $2.72 billion from its state lottery program, used to buy and build office buildings and hotels.

Media

06.11.15

Zhou Yongkang’s Mask of Fear Falls Quietly Away

David Wertime
Zhou Yongkang—erstwhile oil czar, former chief of China’s dreaded state security apparatus, a man once swaggering and fit enough to perform 50 to 100 pushups in front of fawning onlookers—has completed his transformation into a sad historical...

Breaking Beijing?

Lynette H. Ong
Foreign Affairs
The government's harsh crackdown could crack the regime...

Survivor Accounts Raise Questions About Yangtze Ship’s Final Moments

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
Four days after the ship, the Oriental Star, flipped over in a ferocious storm, leaving 442 dead or missing.