“He is going to be executed for corruption,” said a former colleague I met yesterday for lunch when the issue of Shanghai’s former party secretary Chen Liangyu came up. “Of course, they have enough proof he is corrupt himself, not only his family. I heard the first stories already eight years ago.” More than setting up yet another hapless bureaucracy to fight corruption, this upcoming court case is going to set the agenda of the fight against corruption. But whether the system will literally kill its own children? I’m sure he will get (and deserve) a heavy punishment, but I think the death penalty will be a step to far. What do you think?
Meanwhile, have you ever wondered on the true state of China’s water sources? Chris O’Brien of Beijing Newspeak shares an amazing quote from Zheng Binghui, the director of the Chinese Research Academy of the Environmental Sciences’ Institute of Water Environment in an article from the South China Morning Post:
Dr Zheng said nearly half of all urban drinking water sources failed to meet national standards in 1981, and, in 1998, the failure rate was more than 83 per cent, according to studies carried out by his institute.
Their latest survey suggests more than 450 drinking water sources in key national environmental protection cities could not meet the standards, a number six times higher than the official figure. But these results have not been made available to the mainland public.
“If we release these figures to the public, there will be total havoc … The figures we reported to the central government are classified,” he said.
“There is only one correct figure you and Xinhua can report, and that is the official figure.”
One wonders if Zheng will get into trouble next!
Picture of former mayor Chen Liangyu when he was still in office from China Herald