Businessman’s Defeat Illustrates Party’s Rule – Edward Cody

The Washington Post tells the story of a local manager, and major shareholder, of a paper company, who has been fighting his local government in court after authorities auctioned off the company, despite the fact that it was privately owned:

When the provincial High Court later ruled that the government should pay Zhang, 48, nearly half a million dollars for his loss, he regretted that the workers he had recruited as minority shareholders would not also be compensated. But he thought that he, at least, as the major stakeholder, would finally get his due after such a clear-cut decision from the province’s highest court. He was wrong.

Instead of settling up Zhang’s claim, the district government has resisted, thus demonstrating the hard power of China’s Communist Party system — the enduring ability of local officials to override the that is regularly heralded by national leaders in Beijing. As the party faithful gather in the capital for a once-in-five-years national congress beginning Monday, Zhang’s cased has provided a timely reminder of what one-party dictatorship still means in the towns and villages where most of China’s 1.3 billion people live. [Full text]

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