Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Crackdowns in China

On Monday, a senior manager of the giant oil company China National Petroleum was placed under formal investigation for “severe breaches” of Communist Party discipline, the government announced, the second executive of a major state-owned enterprise to face such an inquiry this month. Xi has vowed to fight the vested interests that are thought to be blocking efforts to reform the country’s economy, as well as to eliminate the “tigers” and the “flies” — senior and junior officials — believed to be responsible for widespread corruption. 
Wang Yongchun was vice president of China National Petroleum, the parent company of PetroChina; he was also the head of the country’s biggest oil field, Daqing, and was seen as a likely candidate to take over the company earlier this year. A regional manager of China Mobile was placed under a similar investigation this month. 
The party’s efforts to assert more control over social media have also intensified. On Sunday, authorities announced the detention or arrest of three prominent critics: A 60-year-old Chinese American businessman, Xue Manzi, a widely followed commentator on social media, was detained in Beijing on Friday night on suspicion of soliciting a 22-year-old prostitute; a newspaper reporter who had accused a senior politician of corruption was detained in Chong­qing; and a whistleblower was arrested for allegedly soliciting bribes from people he had accused. Two other leading bloggers were also detained last week as part of a campaign against people accused of spreading “rumors” online.

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