Disgraced Former Chinese Internet Tzar Lu Wei Charged with Bribery

James Griffiths
CNN
Lu Wei “accepted a large number of bribes” during his time as national propaganda chief, head of the Cyberspace Administration of China, deputy head of the official Xinhua news agency, and as a Beijing city official, according to state media.

China's 'Jack the Ripper', Gao Chengyong, Sentenced to Death

BBC
BBC
A serial killer in China has been sentenced to death for the murder of 11 women.

Media

01.24.18

China’s Animated Underbelly

Jonathan Landreth from China Film Insider
A tousled-haired young man in a third-tier Chinese city is desperate to fix the botched plastic surgery done on his fiancée’s face. At knifepoint, he steals a satchel of one million yuan from a local gangster, setting off a chain-reaction of greed...

Taiwan Says Pro-China Party Is Suspected of Passing Information to Beijing

New York Times
Taiwan is investigating four members of a small political party that advocates unification with China, on the suspicion that they gave Chinese officials classified information related to an espionage case.

Thousands in China Watch as 10 People Sentenced to Death in Sport StadiumThousands in China Watch as 10 People Sentenced to Death in Sport Stadium

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
A court in China has sentenced 10 people to death, mostly for drug-related crimes, in front of thousands of onlookers before taking them away for execution.

Donald Trump Tells UCLA Trio to Thank Xi Jinping for Releasing Them from China

South China Morning Post
US President Donald Trump has exhorted three suspended UCLA basketball players to thank Chinese President Xi Jinping for their freedom following a shoplifting incident while they were in China.

Three UCLA Players Return from China to Calls for Suspensions — and a Twitter Scolding from Trump

Des Bieler and Matt Bonesteel
Washington Post
The three UCLA players who were detained in China for shoplifting returned to the U.S. on Tuesday night, following intervention from, among others, President Trump. As immensely relieved as LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley must be to have...

Books

11.15.17

The Book of Swindles

Zhang Yingyu, Edited and Translated by Christopher Rea and Bruce Rusk
This is an age of deception. Con men ply the roadways. Bogus alchemists pretend to turn one piece of silver into three. Devious nuns entice young women into adultery. Sorcerers use charmed talismans for mind control and murder. A pair of dubious monks extorts money from a powerful official and then spends it on whoring. A rich student tries to bribe the chief examiner, only to hand his money to an imposter. A eunuch kidnaps boys and consumes their “essence” in an attempt to regrow his penis. These are just a few of the entertaining and surprising tales to be found in this 17th-century work, said to be the earliest Chinese collection of swindle stories.The Book of Swindles, compiled by an obscure writer from southern China, presents a fascinating tableau of criminal ingenuity. The flourishing economy of the late Ming period created overnight fortunes for merchants—and gave rise to a host of smooth operators, charlatans, forgers, and imposters seeking to siphon off some of the new wealth. The Book of Swindles, which was ostensibly written as a manual for self-protection in this shifting and unstable world, also offers an expert guide to the art of deception. Each story comes with commentary by the author, Zhang Yingyu, who expounds a moral lesson while also speaking as a connoisseur of the swindle. This volume, which contains annotated translations of just over half of the 80-odd stories in Zhang’s original collection, provides a wealth of detail on social life during the late Ming period and offers words of warning for a world in peril. —Columbia University Press{chop}

Fugitive Tycoon Guo Wengui Assailed by Businessman Who Says He Was Framed for Crimes

South China Morning Post
China’s highest profile fugitive, exiled billionaire Guo Wengui, is under attack from a former business partner who claims Guo got him framed for crimes he says he did not commit.

Why Ponzi Schemes Are Thriving in China Despite Crackdowns

Frank Tang
South China Morning Post
The financial naivety of the public and a collective desire for unfeasibly high returns have helped fuel the proliferation of fraudulent investment schemes in China, according to an academic.

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.

Gang of Six Sought in Hong Kong for HK$7.8m Knifepoint Robbery of Two Mainland Chinese Visitors

Clifford Lo
South China Morning Post
Hong Kong police are looking for six men after two male visitors from mainland China were held at knifepoint and forced to transfer 6.8 million yuan (HK$7.8 million).

Apple Customer Data in China Was Sold Illegally, Police Say

New York Times
Police also said the leaked data included the names, Apple identification numbers and phone numbers of Apple users.

China’s ‘Walter White’ Sold $600k of Illegal Drugs Every Month to the US and Europe

Charlie Campbell
Time
A chemistry professor in China has been convicted in a case that has drawn comparisons with the hit TV show "Breaking Bad"...

U.S. Won’t Tolerate Pressure from China on Fugitive Families

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China has upset Western countries by sending undercover agents to try and get suspects back, although it says it has changed tactics after complaints

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.

New Interpol Head is Chinese Former Deputy Head of Paramilitary Police

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Vice-minister Meng Hongwei’s election has sparked concerns his position may be used to boost China’s campaign to pursue dissidents around the globe

Teenager is Convicted of Murder in 2014 Beating Death of USC Grad Student from China

Marisa Gerber
Los Angeles Times
The defendants told detectives they’d targeted Xinran Ji because he was Chinese and they suspected he had money

Police Recover 300 Million Yuan Worth of Stolen Sichuan Relics

Teng Jing Xuan
The two-year operation ends with 70 arrests and breakup of 10 criminal gangs

China Resists Harsh Punishments for Those Involved in Wrongful Convictions

Javier Hernandez
New York Times
The Communist Party has made overturning cases of gross injustice a centerpiece of its efforts to overhaul the legal system.

Caixin Media

01.26.16

How Serial Killers Terrorized China’s Disorganized Elder Care Industry

The 45-year-old caregiver was calm on the witness stand, but her words were jarring. He Tiandai admitted during her murder trial that she killed a 70-year-old woman she cared for by poisoning her soup with sleeping pills and pesticide, injecting her...

Philippines Says Handing China Suspects in Diplomats' Shooting

MANUEL MOGATO
Reuters
Two Chinese diplomats suspected of killing two colleagues will be granted diplomatic immunity and handed over to Chinese authorities.

Caixin Media

09.08.15

Amnesty As a Stepping Stone to Rule of Law

A recent amnesty declaration affecting convicted criminals deemed no threat to society was a poignant reminder of China’s tradition of prudent punishment, support for human rights, and progress toward of rule of law.The recent decision by the...

In China, ‘Breaking Bad’ is Real

Wall Street Journal
Chinese police have arrested a Chinese college chemistry professor for joining forces with a drug kingpin.

China Lodges Protest after North Korea Man ‘Kills Four’

BBC
BBC
"China's public security bureau will handle the case according to law," a ministry spokeswoman said, suggesting the suspect will be prosecuted in China rather than handed back to Pyongyang...

Shunyi Foreign Foster Parent of 11 Disappears, Critically Ill Child at Hospital

Michael Wester
Beijinger
The Legal Daily reported Thursday that the girl, called Phoebe, is one of 11 ethnic Chinese foster children the man has been raising in various apartments around Beijing, most recently at Capital Paradise in Shunyi.

Reports

11.06.14

Vanishing Point: Criminality, Corruption and the Devastation of Tanzania’s Elephants

Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)
Tanzania’s elephants continue to be poached to supply a growing demand in an unregulated illegal ivory market, predominantly in China. Seizure data implicates Tanzania in more large flows of ivory than any other country. It is also consistently...

Robbed in China? Remain Calm and Call a Foreigner

David Wertime
Foreign Policy
Photos circulating on Chinese social media have bolstered the perception among Chinese citizens that victims of crime who hold foreign passports are granted special treatment and more attention by the police. 

Features

07.24.13

Carried Off

Charlie Custer
In March 2011, Rose Candis had the worst lunch of her life. Sitting at a restaurant in Shaoguan, a small city in South China, the American mother tried hard not to vomit while her traveling companion translated what the man they were eating with had...

Who Killed Pamela in Peking?

Jonathan D. Spence from New York Review of Books
An ordinary winter evening in the Legation Quarter of Peking, where foreign embassies and consulates were located, January 7, 1937. Cold. The heavy sound of Japanese armored cars, out on patrol down the busy shopping streets that flank the Forbidden...

Why 'Breaking Bad' Should be Set in China

Eveline Chao
Motherboard
Records of large drug busts involving meth in recent years--an increasingly common occurrence--tend to show a trail that leads back to China.

Keep Smiling! – You’re Being Watched

Børge Bakken
China Story
Frequent media reports of overwhelming popular support for mass surveillance are propagandistic in tone and content. However, is there nonetheless some truth in the ‘happy Chinese panopticon’? An international comparative survey on privacy and...

New Details of How Wife of Chinese Politician Thought She Was Poisoned

Edward Wong
New York Times
The wife of Bo Xilai, the disgraced Chinese politician, was told several years ago by a doctor that her nervous system had suffered irreversible damage because she had been steadily ingesting poison that someone had slipped into...

Former Wife of Fallen Chinese Leader Tells of a Family’s Paranoid Side

EDWARD WONG and DAVID BARBOZA
New York Times
Just months before his fall from power, Bo Xilai asked the brother of his first wife to meet him at a government compound in the southwest metropolis of Chongqing.

Who Stripped the Law of Its Dignity

Hu Shuli
A common refrain in official statements and court documents is: "China is a socialist country run by the rule of law. The dignity and power of law shall not be trampled." But how Bogu Kailai and her accomplices were able to disregard...

Bo Xilai: The Unanswered Questions

Perry Link
New York Review of Books
The Chinese Communist Party has always put great emphasis on smooth surfaces, maintaining political “face” through a decorous exterior. Men at the top dye their hair black and every strand must be in place. But sometimes there are cracks in the...

Politics and Crime in China: The Final Act

The Economist
Economist
As weeks have passed without news of the fates of Bo Xilai, a suspended Politburo member, and his wife, Gu Kailai, a suspect in the murder of a foreigner, some speculated that party leaders were having difficulty agreeing on the verdicts, both...

Bo Xilai's Wife Charged in Killing of British Businessman

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
Gu Kailai, the wife of the disgraced political leader Bo Xilai, has been charged with the intentional homicide of a British businessman, a crime that triggered China’s most serious political crisis in decades, the state media...

Violence Against Doctors on the Rise

Unattributed
Economist
AFTER a growing number of attacks on medical staff in China, doctors and nurses are finding hospitals increasingly unsafe. According to figures from the Ministry of Health, more than 17,000 “incidents” aimed at hospitals and their staff occurred in...

China Cracks Down on Money-Smuggling Ring

Lingling Wei
Wall Street Journal
A Chinese court in Chongqing convicted 18 people on Tuesday of running a nearly $10 billion money-smuggling ring, according to an attorney involved, giving Chinese officials one of their biggest victories yet in their efforts to stop the illegal...

Two Arrests in China Unnerve Art World

Andrew Jacobs and Clare Pennington
New York Times
The frothy contemporary-art scene here has lost some of its ebullience in the three and a half months since a German art handler and a Chinese associate were detained on charges that they undervalued imported art to avoid customs duties.

Sheldon Adelson and Macau

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
Nearly forty years ago, S. J. Perelman described a fictional Hong Kong hotel he called the “Golden Bamboozle,” a reference not only to a bed chamber that cost a “prince’s ransom,” but to a city that was a magnet for bon vivants and grifters and risk...

Netizens Agree China's Rape Law Must Be Reformed

David Wertime
How can a little girl be a “prostitute?” Many in China are asking this question after a set of government officials in Lueyang, Shaanxi province, were caught having sex with a minor but found guilty of the lesser crime of “patronizing an underage...

Sinica Podcast

03.16.12

Midnight in Peking

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In a China accustomed to glacial political change, Bo Xilai’s dramatic fall from power this week has stunned observers nationwide. Joining us to help make sense of things is Guardian correspondent Tania Branigan, who helps review what exactly...