China Silences Corrupt Official by Killing Him
China executed a former director of its food and drug agency Tuesday for approving fake medicine in exchange for cash, while officials announced steps to safeguard food at next summer’s Olympic Games.
Xinhua news agency reported the execution of Zheng Xiaoyu, who was sentenced to death in May for accepting cash and gifts worth more than $830,000 from pharmaceutical companies. Xinhua said his appeal was rejected because of the immense damage he had caused to public health and safety.
During his time as chief, the administration approved many medicines that did not meet standards, including six fake drugs. One antibiotic allegedly caused the deaths of at least 10 people.
Zheng was the highest level official to be executed in seven years.
The speed with which his appeal was rejected and the death sentence was carried out suggests the authorities wished to make an example of Zheng, as a warning to other would-be bribe-takers. Corruption is rampant in rising China.
But China Confidential sources say Zheng was also executed to silence him. He knew too much about too many sons and daughters of high-ranking Communist Party officials.
The dirty little secret about China’s state sponsored capitalism is that the biggest gains and opportunities are reserved for those with the strongest party–and military–ties.
In addition to Zheng, five other drug supervision officials have also received sentences for corruption ranging from 13 years to life in prison.The measures include ensuring athletes’ food is free of substances that could trigger a positive result in tests for banned performance-enhancing drugs. Many of China’s recent food woes have been tied to the purity of ingredients, flavoring, artificial colors and other additives.
China’s food and drug administration spokeswoman, Yan Jiangying, told reporters on Tuesday that the country’s food and drug safety was “unsatisfactory” and the country was facing a tough situation in supervising standards.
“As a developing country, China’s food and drug supervision work began late and its foundations are weak,” she said. “Therefore, the food and drug safety situation is not something we can be optimistic about.”