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Frontline Monthly

June 22, 2002

Mainland Report section

July 1999

Special Anti-Corruption Edition


Richest man in the area kept 29 mistresses

By Wen Qingtian [Jiang Weiping’s pen name]

Recently, a hot news story erupted in Daqing City, Helongjiang Province. In the city, which became world famous in the 1960s for the oil worker “Ironman” Wang, former mayor Qian Dihua, a man surnamed Wu who is deputy secretary of the Daqing City Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and many members of the committee and other high-level government officials were arrested on suspicion of economic and business crimes. The origin and development of the whole case is unprecedented and shocking.

The stock of Daqing Lianyi, a well-known, state-run enterprise listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, was once so hot that many investors vied to buy and hold shares for profit. But people familiar with the company’s background disclosed that Daqing Lianyi is only an ordinary chemical oil refinery and marketing corporation controlled by the Daqing government. After elaborate scheming, this company — supported by Wang Xianmin, current deputy governor of Heilongjiang Province and former Daqing Communist Party Secretary — became hot in 1997 immediately after being listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, just because it was disguised as a new state-run enterprise under the gold-lettered signboard name of “Daqing Lianyi.”

In order to ingratiate himself to higher officials, Lianyi’s chairman of the board, a man surnamed Zhang, gave each of more than 60 cadres at or above the level of department head of the city Party Committee and the city government a certain amount of stock as a gift, with several thousand yuan being the lowest and tens of thousands of yuan the highest amount. Thus, when the stocks began trading in Shanghai, the officials all became rich overnight from the IPO stocks that were given to them just for their official titles. “The IPO price for each share was one yuan, but now the highest trading price is over 20 yuan and the lowest price is about 10 yuan,” a Daqing source familiar with the matter disclosed. “By making use of the opportunity to issue stock to take and offer bribes openly, and by putting state assets and investors’ hard-earned money into the pockets of local officials, Zhang has helped them profit from other people’s labor.”

While investigating Zhang’s business account, [public security personnel] found that more than 60 cadres, at or above the level of department heads of the city Party Committee and the city government, were involved in fraudulent Lianyi stocks. Former mayor Qian Dihua, Deputy Party Secretary Wu, and others collaborated with Zhang in the stock embezzlement and bribery.

Elderly mayor keeps 29 mistresses

Most unthinkable is that 63-year-old Mayor Qian, who has been an official for many years and is one of the richest men in the area, is so energetic and strong that he kept 29 mistresses aged 19 to 40. Besides buying apartments for each of them, three of whom are government officials, Qian also bought a car for each of them, while using them to satisfy his own sexual desire. Two of them even gave birth to his children. It’s really ridiculous that while the Communist Party is strictly implementing the “family planning” policy today, Mayor Qian’s ignorance of the Party’s discipline and state laws and regulations has allowed his life to be so corrupted…

Local officials are trying to block the news, so it is still not known for sure how much money Qian Dihua and other corrupt officials embezzled during their terms of office. But from the fact that he kept mistresses, it can be easily reckoned that the figure must be astronomical…

What awaits the incumbents?

Daqing’s Qian Dihua belongs to the third wave of high-ranking local officials in Heilongjiang who were thrown in prison for committing economic crimes, following former Harbin deputy mayor Zhu Shengwen and former Qiqihar party secretary Wang Shubin. Once the shady deals are exposed, a large group of corrupt officials will lose their vested interests. Such a situation reminds us that if a large-scale and prompt reform of the political system cannot be implemented to meet the demand of the diversified economy, it will be impossible to establish a real supervisory and regulatory mechanism. Corruption will continue, and, just like the poem says: “Not even a prairie fire can destroy the grass; it grows when the spring breeze blows.”

The full translated version of this article is available at:

Error | Human Rights in China 中国人权 | HRIC


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