Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sina and Baidu Censor Information About "Old Tigers": Retired Senior Officials Targeted in Corruption Investigations

On March 31, 2014, the state sponsored Xiaoxiang Morning Post published an article entitled "Anti-Corruption Storm Blowing Toward Retired 'Old Tigers.'" (反腐风暴刮向退休“老老虎”). Some excerpts:
Retirement is no longer a "shield" for corrupt officials, as the anti-corruption storm taking the offensive against "old tigers." On the evening of March 28, the Guangdong Party Discipline Inspection Commission announced that Ping Limei, former chairman of the Maoming Political Consultative Conference, was being investigated on suspicion of severely violating discipline. At the time he had already been retired for two years. Recently, another retired "old tiger" who was investigated was Gu Qihai, a former department head at the Ministry of Land and Resources. After his retirement he took a position with a "not well known" association with close ties to enterprises.

On April 4, 2014, the state sponsored Beijing News published an article entitled "82 People Felled in Two Rounds of Discipline Inspection" (两轮巡视82人落马). Some excerpts:
According to a People's Daily report, since May 2013, 20 teams representing the central authorities have launched two rounds of discipline inspection covering 11 provinces and nine agencies. Based on incomplete statistics, since the inspections began, information regarding "case investigations" on the website of the Central Discipline Inspection Commission indicates that 82 people were investigated in 13 locations, of which nine were provincial level officials.
. . . .
Of the 82 people investigated by the 20 teams during the two rounds of inspection,  besides 16 for whom no age information was available, 41 were born in the 50's. Of those, at most 11 are 58 (born in 1956) and another 5 are 59 (born in 1955), far more than any other age group. In other words, besides the 16 for whom their ages can't be determined, of the 66 others, 16 people who were investigated were aged 58-59, or 24%.

After the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China [November 2012], retired senior officials have been under constant investigation, in what commentators have called the "Anti-Corruption Storm Blowing Toward Retired 'Old Tigers.'" Of the aforementioned 41 people from the "50s," Chen Bohuai, former deputy chairman of the Hubei People's Political Consultative Conference, is just one of those "Old Tigers."

. . . .

These screenshots were taken on March 19, 2014, and show that Sina Weibo and Baidu were censoring searches for “Old Tigers" (老老虎).