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|Friday, April 14, 2000, updated at 10:30(GMT+8)
Rise & Fall of Hu ChangqingHu Changqing had the perfect resume for a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC):
He was born in an arid valley in Hunan Province in 1948, joined the People's Liberation Army at age 20 and became a CPC member the next year, was demobilized and came to Beijing to work in a state- owned insurance company in 1987 and later a subsidiary of the State Council, was sent to east China's Jiangxi Province and 1995 and made deputy governor in 1998.
And on March 8 of this year, Hu was executed in Jiangxi on charges of corruption, becoming the highest-ranking Chinese official to receive the death sentence since the CPC came to power in 1949.
The following is a story detailing Hu's rise and fall in politics, highlighting his involvement in the type of corrupt practices which have disgraced quite a few Party and government leaders, and calling on all Party and government officials to draw a lesson and fight against corruption.
Hu was convicted on charges of bribery and possession of property from unidentified sources, and sentenced to death in the final ruling of the provincial Higher People's Court.
From May 1995 through August 1999, Hu abused his power and demanded and accepted a total of 5.45 million yuan in bribes on 90 separate occasions. He also failed to identify the source of 1.61 million yuan worth of property in his name.
Hu was executed in the morning of April 8 in the provincial capital of Nanchang. His death sentence was upheld by the Supreme People's Court of China.
In an interview just before the execution, Hu said, "When I joined the Party, I didn't have a clear understanding of its mission, but I did have the ambition to climb up the political ladder."
"Over the decades, I became lazy about studying, and all the diplomas I got illegally were just to pave the way for my political promotion," he said.
He said he used his connections to get a bachelor's degree from prestigious Beijing University.
"I have no idea what makes a Communist Party member, except for paying monthly dues," he said.
Hu was the youngest child in his family. As a boy, he herded cows, farmed, and carried heavy loads of vegetables to sell in a local market, using his earnings to pay for school fees.
His two sisters sacrificed their chance to go to school to help support his education costs.
When he became powerful, he pursued money and women.
One of the people he bribed testified that the former deputy governor once asked him to find some pretty women for Hu's pleasure. He did, and Hu was pleased.
The investigation of the case proved that Hu took unauthorized leave more than 20 times every year to tend to private, usually illegal, matters.
Party discipline and the law were abandoned by Hu, and he was free from any form of supervision from superiors or staff.
The Xinhua article says that as a senior official, Hu should have acted as a role model and strictly followed state laws, instead of abusing his power for personal gains.
The scandalous case has deeply angered the public and brought heavy financial losses to the state, and in response, a heavy punishment for Hu in accordance with the law was handed down to demonstrate China's determination to wipe out corruption.
The article urges CPC members and cadres, especially mid-level and high-ranking officials, to learn from the cautionary tale of Hu Changqing, and not to be tempted by harmful influences during China's reform and opening up and the creation of a market economy.
It says that Hu's case is a reminder that not only should leading Party officials practice self-discipline, but the supervisory system for officials should be improved.
"Judging from major cases involving leading party members, one of the main reasons some important Party members abused their power to gain money is that the supervision and management mechanism over leading Party members is far from perfect," it says.
"In this respect, the existing regulations must be carried out firmly, and those which have room for improvement should be improved, while other necessary rules should be set up as soon as possible."
The article goes on to say that "the severe punishment of Hu Changqing according to law serves as a warning to the Party's leading members, a signal to those who have yet to change their ways, and an encouraging sign to the general public."
"It tells us that in socialist China, no one is above the law and no special Party member can evade Party discipline, and no one can escape punishment if he has broken the law, no matter how high his position or how powerful he is," it says.
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