Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

No Law in China and Killing Businessmen

Posted by w_thames_the_d on July 19, 2013


China’s leader, comrade Xi Jinping, is supposedly cracking down on corruption. Interestingly enough, he is jailing those who seek to help him by asking that public officials declare their assets. With a family fortune of over $300 million, Xi definitely does not want to open his books to anyone.

While the latest crackdown by comrade Xi and others is making a splash in the news, it is merely more of the same old , same old. Xi is using it as a publicly acceptable form of ridding China of Bo Xilai contingents who tried to off Xi a while ago.

Outside of misguided western newsies, nobody is buying the ‘anti-corruption’ campaign. Even more importantly, if China were to hold an election, it would be the jailed Bo Xilai who would win, and not comrade Xi.
Articles
When China’s biggest real-estate developer speaks up on Sina Weibo, the nation’s Twitter-like social media service, people listen. On July 14, Wang Shi, the founder of property firm China Vanke, used his account to bemoan how China’s lack of rule of law affects the way in which business is conducted in the world’s second-largest economy. Referring to a recent crackdown on crime in the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, Wang wrote: “A large group of local businessmen were put into prison illegally, their properties were confiscated by the government, their lives and dignities lost legal protection, even their defense attorneys were put into prison illegally. At that time I kept silent. Later I realized that was cowardly and wrong. We should say ‘no’ to those law enforcement departments that infringe upon law, property and life.”
(PHOTOS: When China’s Netizens Attack: 10 Famous ‘Human Flesh’ Hunts)
Wang’s Weibo outburst came just as the Chinese online community was abuzz over the hasty and secretive execution of businessman Zeng Chengjie on July 12. Zeng, a real-estate developer from central China’s Hunan province, was convicted in 2011 of fraudulently fund-raising up to $562 million. The sentence? Death. But Zeng’s family, who maintain that he was innocent, were not informed of his execution until after the event. Zeng’s 24-year-old daughter, Zeng Shan, took to Weibo herself, expressing the family’s outrage: “Devastating news. My dad was executed this morning. We didn’t even get to see him one last time!” Her post went viral, reposted 72,000 times within two days — and property guru Wang was one of many to opine in the wake of Zeng’s demise. Some online commentators joked that such a swift execution would lead more rich Chinese to emigrate abroad, lest they find themselves in the gallows without even the opportunity to see their families before the end. Others, like Wang, used the case to criticize the way in which law enforcement can operate in China.
The cozy intersection of business and politics has made immense fortunes in China. But such shady relationships, known as asguanxi, provide little cover when the law is irregularly applied. Furthermore, as in the Chongqing case, law-enforcement officers can run roughshod over due process when trying to ferret out financial malfeasance. For the country’s most successful businessmen, it’s a difficult balance: maintaining the informal business relationships needed to thrive while trying to steer clear if government investigators come knocking.
Zeng’s post also galvanized online debate over whether executing someone without informing their family was even legal in China. On July 13, the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court, which ordered Zeng’s execution, stated on its own Sina Weibo account that “there is no clearly written law stipulating convicts must meet with their family members before being executed.” But members of China’s online community rebutted that statement, citing Chinese statutes that claim, in fact, criminals are entitled to meet with their family before they are killed by the state. The Changsha court was forced to delete its original post and apologize, defending itself by saying that staff managing its social-media account were not expert in criminal law.

Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/07/17/crackdowns-and-executions-provoke-shock-and-outrage-in-chinas-business-community/#ixzz2ZVuUuDjm

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