采访/陈汉 编辑/李谦 后制/李智远
Xi Jinping Moves Anti-corruption Campaign To State-owned Enterprises
Corruption has become ubiquitous among the Chinese
Communist Party (CCP) officials.
As a major fund source of the CCP, corruption in state-owned
enterprises is especially serious where scandals
had been continuously exposed recently.
Not long ago, the CCP president Xi Jinping said changes
will be made on excessively high incomes of executives
of state-owned enterprise.
Commentators thus speculate state-owned companies
will be the next target of Xi’s anti-corruption campaign.
Some also say that after a massive take down
of Jiang Zemin’s followers, Xi is now turning back to solve
the difficulties in China’s economy.
On Aug. 22, Southern Metropolis Daily reported that
Zhang Xinhua, former general manager of the Baiyun Farm
Industry and Commerce Enterprise,
was suspected of embezzling 400 million yuan ($65 million).
Although Zhang is only a divisional-level official,
he sets the record of involving the biggest amount of money
among Guangzhou’s corruption cases.
Not long before, former chairman of Shanghai Bright Food
Group Wang Zongnan was arrested on embezzlement
and bribery charges.
Since 2014, over 40 senior officials of state-owned
enterprises had been investigated, including former
chairman of Huarun Group Song Lin and vice president
of the China Publishing Group Wang Junguo.
However, those are only the tip of the iceberg.
The truth is, almost every CCP state-owned company
has serious corruption problems in biding and approving
procedures of projects.
Senior officials also use public funds for their own
enjoyment without direct embezzlement.
In the name of “business expenditure,” they openly enjoy
luxury cars, luxury hotels and top-grade clubhouses.
Annual reports show that 252 state-owned listed companies
of A-shares had spent 6.5 billion Yuan ($1.1 billion)
as entertainment costs only in the year of 2012.
Chen Tonghai, the ex-boss of Sinopec who was sentenced
to death with reprieve in 2009, reportedly spent
40,000 Yuan ($6,500) per day as “business expenditures.”
On Aug. 18, Xi Jinping gave a talk in the fourth meeting
of the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively
Xi said, state-owned enterprises need to regulate their
income distribution and trim off excessively high incomes.
Xi stressed that strict regulations will be applied to leaders
of state-owned companies, as well as their incomes
and business expenditures.
No “business expenditures” will be allowed except
those subject to state rules.
Jason Ma, economic commentator of NTDTV: “Many
state-owned enterprise leaders are children of CCP officials
or with special background.
In the CCP’s history, no one ever had the courage to talk
about regulating their incomes.
There were only discussions in private talks.”
Jason Ma said state-owned companies are intrinsically
oddballs born from the CCP’s single-party dictatorship.
The leaders of these “oddballs” are simply party officials
and know nothing about management.
However, state-owned companies are monopolies
protected by the CCP’s policies, and thus never take
any risks or losses.
In such a situation, their leaders form interest groups
that always enjoy luxury and privilege.
Jason Ma commented that Xi Jinping established his
authority by striking down a group of high officials from
Jiang Zemin’s group;
Therefore now he has the courage to call a salary cut
of those state-owned enterprise leaders.
Jason Ma: “Probably on one hand, Xi is stabilizing powers
that resisted him in the struggle not long ago.
On the other hand, he may be turning back to solve
some economic problems.
However, China’s economic problems are very complicated.
It is difficult to solve them all at once.
All he can do is only to ease public anger by a little bit.”
Chinese economist Yang Bin said despite pay cuts
on state-owned company bosses, the CCP still refuses
to make any fundamental reforms on its system.
It keeps giving support to state-owned ones with favorable
policies, claiming to be “energizing them.”
Yang Bin, Chinese economist: “State-owned companies
are exactly the ones with no energy.
They are very inflexible.
But the CCP tries to energize them instead of private ones,
which were born with real energy.
This puts the cart before the horse and that is where
the real problem is at.”
Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post recently
reported that senior officials of the CCP’s major
state-owned companies, particularly those in financial field,
will face a 50 percent salary cut.
Chinese media also said, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangdong
and other places introduced plans of strictly regulating
income of state-owned company leaders.
Interview/ChenHan Edit/LiQian Post-Production/Li Zhiyuan