Shangguan: “Anti-corruption campaigns aren’t about wanting to cull all the errant party cadres”

The following is a translation of a “Shangguan” article. Shangguan (“Shanghai Observer”) has been Jiefang Daily‘s (or “Liberation Daily’s”) online news medium since April 1997, according to Wiki Mandarin.

Jiefang Daily is “the official daily newspaper of the Shanghai Committee of the Communist Party of China”. The article translated here probably targets, above all, party cadres.

It mainly contains two messages which – from a totalitarian point of view – probably don’t contradict each other:

  • If you have violated party discipline and the law, you can’t escape the organization
  • If you have violated party discipline and the law, you should trust the organization and turn yourselves in before your offenses are exposed by the organization – the org will then be comparatively lenient.

Links within blockquotes have been added during translation.

Xi speaking, cadres taking notes – CCTV evening news on July 24, 2013 (archive).

Main Link:
Secretly returning the money, resisting the organization, fleeing abroad with the money, actively turning oneself in … after breaking discipline and the law, they made entirely different decisions. (悄悄退钱,对抗组织,携款外逃,主动投案……违纪违法后,他们做出了截然不同的选择)

Summary: Under high pressure and awe, political appeals and legal case examples, there will be even more errant cadres who will take the road of actively surrender.

摘要:相信在高压震慑、政策感召和越来越多的案例示范下,还会有更多犯错的党员干部走上主动投案这条路。

Recently, some party cadres who had violated discipline and the law have been exposed. They had gone too far on the wrong road of mistakes, and stood on the edge, facing the abyss. Which path should they take from there?

最近曝光了一些违纪违法的党员干部,他们在错误的道路上走得太远,一直走到了悬崖边,脚下临深渊,该何去何从?

Different people made different choices …

不同人做出了不同的选择——

Some people became anxious and worried, looked around undecidedly, wanting to find a secure lane to safety. They reassured themselves by returning the money they had received. Baotou National Rare Earth Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone People’s Procuratorate’s former inspector Li Shuyao and former Guizhou Province’s Duyun city deputy mayor Liu Shengjun both received money and feared afterwards that the matter could fall through and be exposed. So they returned the money to the briber, as if this would unmake it all.

有人惶惶不安,彷徨四顾,想找到一条安全上岸的小路,于是选择了一个自我安慰的方式——把收来的钱原路退回去。包头市稀土高新技术产业开发区人民检察院原检察官李书耀,贵州省都匀市原副市长刘胜军,都是在收了钱之后感觉事情可能要败露了,又把钱退给行贿人,仿佛这样做,就可以当一切都没发生过。

Some people obstinately persisted in handling things the wrong way. The organization had already discovered their issues and reached out to them, but they kept struggling endlessly. Du Changdi, former Anhui Provincial Investment Group chairman of the board and declared expulsed from the party and the office on September 8, “forged evidence, colluded with others to fabricate a story, and resisted organizational investigation.

有人执迷不悟,组织已经发现了他们的问题,伸手想拉他们一把,他们却还挣扎不休。9月8日被宣布双开的安徽省投资集团原董事长杜长棣,“伪造证据,与他人串供,对抗组织审查”。

Some people chose to flee abroad. On September 7, Heilongjiang Provincial Supervisory Commission announced that Jixi city‘s former deputy mayor Li Chuanliang was suspected of embezzling a large amount of public capital1). accepting bribes, and accumulating money from questionable business over a long period. To avoid investigation, he fled abroad, and diverted some of the stolen funding abroad.2)

还有个别人,选择了外逃。9月7日,黑龙江省纪委监委发布消息,黑龙江省鸡西市原副市长李传良涉嫌贪污巨额国有资金、收受他人贿赂、长期搞钱色交易,为了躲避调查,逃至境外,并向境外转移部分涉案赃款。

But there are more party cadres who choose a different path: promptly braking and turning their heads to seek the organization’s help, taking the initiative to surrender.

不过,有更多党员干部,选择了另一条路:及时刹车,回头寻求组织的帮助,主动投案。

Recently, among those who actively surrendered, there were high-ranking party cadres – Qinghai Province deputy governor Wen Guodong, staff with ordinary public posts at Henan Province, Xinyang No. 1 Hospital’s payment counter. There were cadres who had been retired for five years like Chen Xiaohua, Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture former consultative conference deputy chairman Chen Xiaohua, Changchun Municipal People’s Congress standing committee deputy director Shi Changyou, and Handan municipal party secretary Gao Hongzhi

最近主动投案的人当中,有党的高级领导干部——青海省副省长文国栋;有普通的公职人员——河南信阳一医院收费室的工作人员;有退休五年的老干部——云南省文山州政协原副主席陈晓华;还有长春市人大常委会副主任史长友、邯郸市委书记高宏志……

Secretly returning the money, resisting the organization, fleeing abroad with the money, actively turning oneself in – what is the correct way out?

悄悄退钱,对抗组织,携款外逃,或者主动投案……到底哪条路,才是正确的出路?

Let’s take a look at the quiet return of the money. If the money has been returned before the opening of a case, everything is fine?

先来看悄悄退钱的。案发前把钱退给行贿人,就万事大吉了?

According to the law, when there is the subjective intention to take a bribe, and the office is used to accept others’ property, and this is for the benefit sought by the others, the power for money exchange has been completed, and so is the crime of taking bribes. What’s more, many cadres, when returning the money, their main concern is to conceal the fact that they took bribes. There has been no sincere regret at all.

根据法律规定,主观上有受贿故意,在客观上利用职务上的便利收受了他人财物,并且是为他人谋取利益,权钱交易已经达成,受贿罪就既遂了。何况很多干部案发前退钱,心中主要是想掩盖受贿事实,根本不是真心悔过。

When people enter the stage of investigation and they still resist the organization, adding one mistake to the other, adding another violation of political discipline to their record, what is awaiting them will be even more serious consequences.

而那些进入审查调查阶段还在对抗组织的人,错上加错,给自己徒增一条违反政治纪律的情形,等待他们的将是更加严重的后果。

To flee with the money is even more of an impasse.

携款外逃,那就更是绝路一条。

China has lots of practical experience in tracking and recovering stolen goods internationally, with more and more mature mechanisms, and the key: “what escapes must be pursued, what’s pursued must be pursued to the last”. No matter who, those who fled to the end of the earth3) won’t get away. They will not only be brought back, but the money must be reclaimed, too. From 2014 to June 2020, China got back 7,831 people from 120 countries, and 19.65 billion Yuan. China initially built an anti-corruption law enforcement cooperation network that covered all continents and key countries, concluded new extradition treaties with 28 countries, judicial assistance treaties, property restitution and sharing agreements. The National Supervisory Commission has concluded agreements with ten countries’ anti-corruption law enforcement institutions and international organizations …

在国际追逃追赃方面,中国已经有丰富的实战经验,有越来越成熟的机制,关键还有“有逃必追、一追到底”的坚定决心,不管是谁,逃到天涯海角都不会放过,不光把人追回来,还要把钱追回来。2014年至2020年6月,中国共从120多个国家和地区追回外逃人员7831人,追回赃款196.54亿元。中国初步构建起一张覆盖各大洲和重点国家的反腐败执法合作网络,与28个国家新缔结引渡条约、司法协助条约、资产返还与分享协定,国家监委与10个国家反腐败执法机构和国际组织签订了合作协议……

Under such a big net, even if he escapes, chasing and returning him is just a matter of time. Many of those on the interpol list who had escaped, have, one after another, returned and turned themselves in.

在这样一张大网下,就算逃出去,被追回来也只是迟早的事儿。之前那些逃出去的“红通”人员,很多都陆陆续续回国投案了。

So, the only remaining thing is to turn oneself in on ones own initiative. That’s the only correct way out. That has also become the practice of more and more errant party cadres. Why do they make this choice?

那么,只剩下主动投案,是唯一正确的出路,也是现如今越来越多犯错误党员干部的做法。他们为什么要作出这样的选择?

After the supervision law had been issued and implemented, Ai Wenli, the first provincial-level cadre who turned himself in on his own initiative said: “After the 19th National Congress, when one after the other fell of the horse, I had to sort things out. I felt that I couldn’t run, or keep up my wishful thinking. … I’m feeling more and more that this path I’ve taken is the right one, that I must trust the organization …”

监察法颁布实施后首个主动投案的省部级干部艾文礼曾说:“十九大之后,落马的一个接一个,我也把我自己的这些事儿捋了捋,我觉得跑不了,不能再有侥幸心理了。……越来越感到我这条路走的是对的,要相信组织……”

“Trust the organization”, these are the true feelings of many surrenderers. To turn oneself in on one’s own initiative spells trust in the party organization, to submit the issue to the party on one’s own initiative is of political significance. Party members and cadres suspected of a lack of discipline and breaking the law or committing crimes in office will be leniently dealt with in accordance with the regulations, discipline, and the law.

“相信组织”,是很多主动投案者说过的心里话。主动投案,选择的是相信党组织,主动向党组织交代问题,这其中是有政治内涵的。对涉嫌违纪、职务违法、职务犯罪的党员干部和公职人员,如果主动投案,将依规依纪依法从宽处理。

In July this year, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission announced the issue of former Hebei Provincial party committee standing committee member and deputy provincial governor Zhang He having violated discipline and the law. He seriously violated party and organizational discipline. Violating discipline also constituted breaking the law on duty. This was of a serious nature with bad effects and something to be dealt with severely. But considering that that he submitted his offenses against discipline and the law voluntarily, issues which had not been known by the organization, and handed over all the illegal income, showing a rather good attitude of acknowledging his mistakes and regretting them, the organization decided to deal with him leniently, in accordance with the principle of “punishing past things to prevent them from happening again”, punished him by expelling him from the party and [This appears to be something related to Zhang He’s pension rights].

今年7月,中央纪委国家监委公布了河北省原省委常委、副省长张和的违纪违法问题。他严重违反党的组织纪律、廉洁纪律并构成职务违法,性质严重,影响恶劣,应予严肃处理。但考虑到他主动交代组织未掌握的违纪违法问题,上交全部违纪违法所得,认错悔错态度较好,按照“惩前毖后、治病救人”的原则,组织决定对他从宽处理,给予开除党籍处分,按四级调研员确定退休待遇。

In August, Yao Yinqi, a state employee suspected of crimes on duty, was the first case to be extradited by a EU member state4). He was sentenced by a first-instance court. Because Yao Yingqi actively cooperated in the extradition procedures, truthfully submitted the case as it was and actively and restituted both the stolen value plus interests, he was given a reduced prison sentence of three years and fined 3 mn RMB.

8月,我国首次从欧盟成员国引渡回来的涉嫌职务犯罪的国家工作人员姚锦旗,受到了一审判决。由于姚锦旗在引渡过程中积极配合,如实交代案件事实,并主动退缴全部赃款及其孳息,依法被减轻处罚,判处有期徒刑六年,并处罚金人民币三百万元。

Honest-practice and anti-corruption campaigns aren’t about wanting to cull all the errant party cadres, but to help them to admit their mistakes and to repent. The goal of these campaigns is to achieve the punishment of the past while curing the sickness to save the patient. Previous lessons have shown time and again that getaways and concealment doesn’t make the past go away, so why not face up to one’s own issues and accept the organization’s remedies?

正风肃纪反腐,不是要把犯错的党员干部都一棒子打死,而是要帮助他们认错悔悟,实现惩前毖后、治病救人的目的。前车之鉴已经反反复复地证明,逃来逃去、藏来藏去还是躲不过去,为什么不正视自己的问题,接受组织挽救呢?

There is reason to believe that under high-pressure awe, inspiring policies and more and more model cases, even more errant party cadres will take this road of turning themselves in voluntarily.

相信在高压震慑、政策感召和越来越多的案例示范下,还会有更多犯错的党员干部走上主动投案这条路。

To remain updated about next week’s major events, see how the next chapter evolves. (Zi Buke)

欲知下周大事,且听下回分解。(子不歇)

Column editor: Gu Wanquan. Text editor: Song Hui. Title picture: Shangguan. Picture service: Zhu Li.

栏目主编:顾万全 文字编辑:宋慧 题图来源:上观图编 图片编辑:朱瓅

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Notes

1) Literally: state-owned capital. Not sure if this reflects the linked definition of “public-owned capital”.
2) The Epoch Times has a different version of the story.
3) In Chinese words: to Cape Haijiao in Sanya (as if the South China Sea hadn’t been full of Chinese islands since ancient times)
4) This probably refers to Bulgaria, where Yao was reportedly arrested in October 2018, and extradited to China about a month (and a few days) later.

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Related

Shanghai police chief investigated, SCMP, Aug 18, 2020
How the fly roared back, Jan 25, 2013
Three Self-Control, April 19, 2009

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