China: What happened to the billions of yuan seized in China’s anti-graft campaign?

Author(s): Wang Xiangwei | Date: September 4, 2016 | Language: English
Source: | URL: | Type: Text

In February 1980, Wang Shouxin, the party secretary of a local fossil fuel company in Heilongjiang, was executed on the same day she was convicted of bribery to the tune of 530,000 yuan (HK$615,000).
Her show trial, billed as the largest corruption case since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, took place in a stadium filled with more than 5,000 people and was faithfully documented by reporters and photographers.
To put the scale of her offence in context, the average monthly salary of a worker was around 50 yuan.
Since then, thanks to reforms and the open-door policy, the Chinese economy has grown exponentially – and along with it the brazenness and greed of corrupt officials. They have gone from extracting bribes worth millions in the 1990s and tens of millions in the first decade of this century to hundreds of millions of yuan today. The higher the official’s rank, the bigger the bribes.

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