Officials sacked for
corruption in recent months
It was a strange auction. The bidder who offered 130 million yuan (US$16.25
million) for the operation licence of a metal mine lost to someone who offered
60 million yuan (US$7.5 million) less than he did.
The auction took place last year, and the man behind it was Li Dalun, the
Party secretary of Chenzhou, a city in Central China's Hunan Province, where
natural resources and the property market are major contributors to the city's
Li Dalun (left) is seen at a local
orchid exhibition. [China Daily]
long, national media reports revealed that Li was sitting at the apex of a mass
corruption case that put the entire city government in hot water.
On June 1, the Hunan provincial committee for discipline inspection placed Li
under "double designation," a status in which officials must explain their
actions or confess their wrongdoing at a designated time and place.
Li's case is pending in Changsha, Hunan's capital.
The credibility of the city's officials sank to its lowest after the
investigation revealed that more than 150 officials and business people were
involved in the corruption case.
Apart from Li, other top officials involved with the case included the
Chenzhou Committee for Discipline Inspection Secretary Zeng Jinchun, Deputy
Mayor Lei Yuanli, publicity department head Fan Jiasheng and former housing
pension administration centre deputy chief Li Shubiao.
During the probe, when an official was asked to confess to his wrongdoing, he
said: "I am not the most corrupt. I am ranked only No 12."
His words vividly illustrate the depth of the corruption, in which Li
Dalun is alleged to have played a leading role.
The provincial disciplinary committee and the provincial procuratorate found
out that Li and his wife, Chen Lihua, possess 32 million yuan (US$4 million), of
which 31.55 million yuan (US$3.94 million) has been frozen as "huge assets of
The couple are alleged to have received bribes of about 13.25 million yuan
(US$1.66 million) in recent years and additional cash sent from government
officials on holidays, birthdays and other family occasions.
A difference in perspective
However, before the case was publicized, Li saw himself as a passionate poet
and an official keen on economic development.
Seven years ago at the age of 49, Li rose from the position of rural office
director in the provincial government to become the Chenzhou city Party
As a member of the Hunan Province Writers' Association, Li has published a
poetry collection entitled "The Years Are Like Poems" and "A Collection of
Dalun's Calligraphy." The two books were distributed to local citizens and
purchased by government officials.
Chenzhou's revenue has been growing by more than 20 per cent annually in
"Li Dalun was enthusiastic about rankings and knew that accomplishing
statistical goals would gain heavy rewards," according to a senior official
quoted by Southern Weekend, a Guangzhou-based newspaper.
In meetings, Li repeatedly stated the goal of making Chenzhou's GDP the
second largest in Hunan Province.
His subordinates began to try to follow his instructions, to give Chenzhou a
unique look: All the plazas are sumptuous and huge, and many buildings were
built to imitate those of the classical period in Western history.
Of the "Ten Projects" ostensibly designed to bring glory to Chenzhou, the
most elaborate was the People's Congress Hall.
The building was made to resemble the building of the same name in Beijing,
and was filled with conference rooms named after various local towns.
Li gathered his fortune mostly from the owners of the city's mine industry
and property market, Southern Weekend reported. He often emphasized the
importance of foreign investment and the development of the private sector.
There was a saying in Chenzhou that the market was controlled by those with