One Chop Shop
A pregnant seamstress who had four
fingers chopped off by supermarket workers after they
suspected her of theft has been paid RMB200,000 in damages.
Qiu Caixia, owner of the IGA China
supermarket in Dongguan, Guangdong, paid Lu Shanshui
compensation plus RMB10,000 for medical expenses following
a week of official condemnation of the incident.
Seven months pregnant Ms. Lu, from
Hunan province, was detained by staff and accused of
stealing a RMB72 pack of ginseng. She was strip - searched
and, while being held down by at least four men, had
her fingers chopped off by the chief store detective.
Two fingers were later reattached by surgeons.
According to the Guangzhou Daily,
Mr. Qiu was accompanied by his lawyer when he paid Ms.
Lu the money after 30 minutes of negotiation. Ms. Lu
was in tears when she accepted the money in her hospital
Earlier, the city's Bureau of Industry
and Commerce shut the store and cancelled its business
license. IGA China also cancelled its license to the
outlet, which had been open for less than a month.
The Dongguan Public Security Bureau,
under orders from the provincial Department of Public
Security, has mobilized two teams to arrest those involved.
UFO or Stealth Fighter?
There were many reports of flying
saucers throughout China in December and January. Scientists
said that these were not alien spacecraft. According
to intelligence sources in Beijing, sources in the PLA
Command and the Defense Academy of Sciences said that
in the North, Eastern and Southern regions of China
a Chinese stealth fighter codenamed Air Century 1 [Kong
Shiji yihao] was being tested at that time and some
UFO reports might be sightings of the Chinese stealth
fighter. That the tests were run in the Nanjing and
Guangzhou military districts has political as well as
military significance. Development of the Century 1
Stealth Fighter began in 1991, and is the fourth on
a list of 12 key development projects of the Defense
Academy of Sciences.
The others are: Improved long - range
ground - to - ground intermediate to long - range missile;
A third generation nuclear submarine; A swept wing bomber.
The stealth fighter is supposed to
have a ceiling of 25,0000 to 30,000 meters, a top speed
of 2200 km/hr, all - weather radar, and an anti - missile
laser - guided bomb system. The first experiment was
conducted in southwestern China in May 1998. At that
time, many cities in Sichuan province reported seeing
a ray of light from a UFO. According to military sources,
when the light is seen, the aircraft takes about 5 -
6 minutes to pass from view so it was travelling at
about 200 km/hr. If the design requirements are met,
the aircraft will go into service in 2005.
- The Asia Pacific Military
and Spy Bulletin
Cadre Currency Racket
Leaders of a village which printed
and circulated its own paper currency have been sacked
Xingping, in Shandong province, began
distributing the currency at the end of 1994 when its
committee had no real money to pay villagers hired to
build roads, the Economic Daily reports.
The party secretary decided to secretly
print banknotes in various denominations which the inhabitants
could use to buy meat and cooking oil in the village.
The denominations included 50, 10,
five and two yuan notes, all stamped by the village
The notes carried a warning: "The
use of this money is limited to the village only and
is only valid with a [village committee] chop."
The paper said the villagers opposed
the currency, which had no value elsewhere. They asked
where the real money they paid as taxes and fees had
"The villagers believed that the
official money they handed in to the village committee
ended up in the hands of the 'village emperors' who
pocketed it themselves," the paper says.
Two villagers who tried to sue the
committee were harassed and had their firewood burnt.
Loudspeakers broadcast threats and warnings. When a
female reporter went to investigate and spent the night
in the village, bricks were thrown at the house she
was sleeping in. Another reporter arrived to find thugs
standing around warning villagers not to talk.
An Economic Daily reporter said villagers
claimed that they had been beaten up for speaking out
against village bosses. Residents said village chiefs
had also levied local taxes. If they were not paid,
they seized goods in kind.
After provincial authorities intervened,
the bosses were punished and the peasants compensated
for land or grain that had been seized. Some villagers
had their goods returned.
Power being up for sale to the highest
bidder has led to an irrational allocation of resources
in China. Why are so many officials in China and other
developing countries corrupt? It isn't just money since
while officials have low salaries they still have enough
to live comfortably. Corrupt officials take the risk
of being caught just as a business person risks capital
in a business enterprise. A corrupt officials who gets
caught suffers a permanent loss of status while a business
person loses capital but still has the abilities and
contacts to try again and perhaps succeed next time.
In the West, people often become officials after having
succeeded at something else that satisfied their basic
materials needs. In China some call for increasing officials
salaries in order to reduce corruption. This is a worthwhile
strategy, but it is not the most important one.
More important is to reduce official
power over business so that officials will have fewer
opportunities to sell their power. Most important is
to continue economic reform in which there are several
different types of ownership so that more and more of
the high achievers will see that the way to make big
bucks is not to be a corrupt officials but to be a business
executive. This will open up new avenues for people
to realize their personal ambitions. And it will change
the structure and flow of human talent in China. It
will help end the situation in which the entire Chinese
society believes that "top flight talent must go into
government." China is changing. Many people are going
into business. Many of the best graduates want to work
not for the Chinese government but for multinational
corporations or for private high - tech companies. This
is a very hopeful sign. As more and more of these people
can find non - government means of satisfying their
ambitions, corruption should become a less serious problem.
- Southern Weekend (editorial)