This local official, arrested last year, was bold enough to photoshop himself into a photo with a state leader. But his path into prison is a long, typical trajectory for a lot of down-on-their-luck cadres. Translated by CDT from China Youth Daily:
Born into a poor village in Linfen, Shanxi Province, Wang Yuexi starved and toughed his way through cold winters. He didn’t even wear socks when he was young, his toes sticking out of worn cloth-patched shoes. In his early political career as governor of Yonghe County, a revolutionary poor stronghold, starting in 1994, he did a great job and helped build up the Chinese date industry for local farmers.
But slowly, power and the lure of money changed him 180 degrees. “I didn’t have money when I was little. When I grew old, the desire to have money grew very strong. Getting older and higher in my office, this desire has the conditions to be realized,” Wang recalls. “The more power I have, the stronger my desire.”
The floodgates of greed opened up when Wang was mayor of Huozhou City, an industrial town with a lot of state-owned enterprises and other private businesses. During his four months of study at the Central Party School in Beijing in 2002, many people made their way to visit him, and more importantly, to bribe him for offices, employment for their children, etc. He hesitated in the beginning. But when he started biting, there was no end to his appetite. His deals grew from 30,000-50,000 yuan apiece to up to 100,000 yuan. And there he slipped all the way to a bottomless dark hole.
He is a fan of books. And he went to such lengths to have people photoshop him into a frame with a state leader, which brought the trouble onto him.
Moreover, the day after he was promoted from Huozhou to Linfen City’s party committee in June 2003, a troop of senior cadres in Huozhou started to report his misconduct to the higher officials. Nearly 130 cadres wrote whistle-blowing letters with their true names. Some went all the way up to Beijing. In June last year, while Wang was in a hospital, he was taken away by Shanxi’s provincial discipline investigation team. Soon, he became an example in anti-corruption education.
He turned in 2.6 million yuan of illegal gains to the authorities. [Full Text in Chinese]
[Image: Wang Yuexi at court hearing, via sina.com.cn]