Date
23 September 2017
From left: Jin Qiufen, chief of the Yangzhou municipal environmental protection bureau; Yichang deputy mayor Zheng Xinghua; and Wang Meiqin, deputy county head of Wuwei in Anhui province. Photos: Beijing News
From left: Jin Qiufen, chief of the Yangzhou municipal environmental protection bureau; Yichang deputy mayor Zheng Xinghua; and Wang Meiqin, deputy county head of Wuwei in Anhui province. Photos: Beijing News

Corruption cases linked to vanity

Can vanity drive female officials to commit graft?

This question has surfaced after a study by the official crime prevention unit (OCPU) of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate showed an upsurge in the number of corruption cases involving female officials.

So far this year, 12 senior female officials have been sacked for suspected violations of discipline and law.  The number of female officials involved in such cases increased 33 percent last year, compared with 2009, the study showed. Most of the cases were related to corruption.

Some of the female officials felt they were receiving less appreciation and compensation for their efforts than their male counterparts, and this thinking had pushed them to connive with their male colleagues in corrupt activities for personal benefits, including money, power … and beauty treatment, Beijing News reported Monday, citing the OCPU research.

In 2012, Beijing prosecutors cited the cases of 12 female officials who were sacked for using public funds to pay for expensive beauty treatments. Some of the officials also accepted bribes in the form of pre-paid beauty salon cards, the report said.

Some of the cases also involved relationship issues, OCPU official Yang Jing was quoted as saying. Among those sacked in the first half of this year was Jin Qiufen, chief of Yangzhou municipal environmental protection bureau, who is said to be the mistress of sacked Nanjing mayor Ji Jianye.

Yichang deputy mayor Zheng Xinghua, meanwhile, was being linked to former deputy governor of Hubei province Guo Youming, who is also under graft probe. The officials sacked this year also include Wang Meiqin, deputy county head of Wuwei in Anhui province, and Yang Xiaobo, the mayor of Gaoping in Shanxi province.  

Their cases generated a lot of social media discussions, especially when their pictures appeared in mainland newspapers.

“I’d rather give everything I have to make her leave me alone,” one netizen joked.

Li Chengyan, director of Research Centre for Government Integrity Building at Peking University, said the cases had nothing to do with gender.

“Corruption is corruption, whether it was committed by a woman or a man,” Li told Beijing News.

He said the growth in number of cases involving female officials simply reflected the increase in the number of female officials and the government’s intensified crackdown on corruption.

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