Two Former Chinese Vice Mayors Executed for Bribery

Xinhua reports the executions for corruption of the former vice mayors of Hangzhou and Suzhou:

Xu Maiyong, a former vice mayor of the city of in Province, was convicted of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power and sentenced to death by the Intermediate People’s Court of the city of Ningbo on May 12.

Jiang Renjie, a former vice mayor of the city of in Province, was convicted of bribery and sentenced to death by the Intermediate People’s Court of the city of Nanjing in April 2008.

Both Xu and Jiang appealed the courts’ decisions after their trials. Their appeals were rejected by higher courts.

The two cases were highlighted in an April opinion piece in the Shanghai Daily, which lamented the wealth gap between China’s ordinary citizens and its supposed 115 billionaires; a figure “vastly understated, for a huge number of our citizens prefer to be extremely modest about their economic circumstances.”

Some of our are much richer than they appear to be. Since they are not legally required to state their income, we can only get a glimpse of the picture from the occasional exposure of disgraced officials.

Last month, the Higher People’s Court of Jiangsu Province upheld a death sentence for former deputy mayor of Suzhou, Jiang Renjie. He is guilty of, among other charges, taking bribes exceeding 100 million yuan, from property developers.

And former deputy mayor of Hangzhou Xu Maiyong is still waiting for a verdict for allegedly taking 160 million yuan in bribes, nearly all from property developers.

Any rich survey that fails to take into account of officials, incorruptible or otherwise, would necessarily misrepresent China’s wealth picture. That misrepresentation leads to misconceptions about the origins of the wealth.

China Daily cited Jiang as an example of official corruption in May, again as part of a broader trend:

Officials from key departments, such as land and resources, housing and rural-urban development as well as law enforcement, tend to be the most vulnerable as the bribes they are offered reflect the significance of their departments, Song Hansong, head of the department targeting crimes committed by officials, under the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP), told China Daily.

and bribery account for the majority of crimes committed by officials,” he said ….

In March 2011, Jiangsu provincial higher people’s court upheld the death sentence meted out by a lower court to Jiang Renjie, former vice-mayor of Suzhou city in Jiangsu, for accepting bribes of up to 100 million yuan.

From 2001 to 2004, Jiang, who was in charge of urban construction, planning and real estate development, abused his position to help secure “illegal interests” in land development, land ownership swaps, and project bids.

Some further details of Xu Maiyong’s case can be found in a Caijing report published immediately after he was placed under investigation in April 2009:

People close to the case said Xu’s investigation is related to the Xixi wetland park project in Hangzhou. Development of the park, strongly opposed by local residents, began in 2004.

In 2008, three people connected to the project were convicted of taking 9.9 million yuan in bribes, including the deputy chief of a district construction bureau, who received a suspended death sentence.

Xu has been involved in the project since its inception, rising through the ranks to become chief of its management committee in April 2006.