Journalist Jiang Weiping (姜维平) Receives Political Asylum in Canada

jiang weipingJiang Weiping is a Chinese journalist who spent five years in prison after writing a series of articles exposing corruption among high-level officials in Liaoning Province. Bo Xilai, then governor of Liaoning, and former Shenyang Vice Mayor Ma Xiangdong, were among those implicated in Jiang’s reporting for Hong Kong’s Qianshao Magazine (前哨杂志). Ma was later executed on corruption charges, while Bo Xilai was promoted to Minister of Commerce and became a member of the Politburo. Jiang was arrested and sentenced to nine years in prison, but was released early on medical parole. The Globe and Mail reports on his recent arrival in Canada, where his wife and daughter have been staying since soon after his arrest:

It was only two weeks ago that Mr. Jiang’s patchwork path to freedom opened up. He was granted a Chinese passport. Soon after, a rare Canadian order was signed offering Mr. Jiang asylum, a diplomatic lifeline so long as he could reach the Canadian embassy in Beijing.

And so it was that, first by boat and then by land, Mr. Jiang came from Dalain to the Chinese capital, a 10-hour trip. He travelled with only a small amount of luggage so as not to arouse suspicion among Chinese officials watching over him.

He arrived yesterday afternoon, local time at the Canadian embassy. Canadian diplomats escorted him to the airport, waiting until he was on his way to Canada, where he can live for two years and apply for permanent residency.

[…] Mr. Jiang was convicted after exposing corruption at the local and provincial levels in China’s industrial northeast. One of his stories revealed that the vice-mayor of Shenyang had gambled away $3-million in public funds. Another reported that the mayor of Daqing had used state money to buy apartments for his 29 mistresses.

Mr. Jiang, who has a serious stomach ailment, was released from prison in January, 2006.

You can read more about Jiang here, including examples of his journalism, and a poem he wrote for his daughter from prison.

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