As the drive against corruption continues–a former senior Inner Mongolia official whose expulsion from the Party was announced on Sunday is the latest example–comes a reminder that it was always thus. More than 4,000 corrupt officials have fled China in the past 30 years, each carrying off an average of 100 million yuan ($15 million) with them. That adds up to 400 billion yuan in all. The numbers are attributed to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (via Caijing), and we suspect, if anything, undercount the totals. Approaching three out of four absconders are officials working in the financial system and government-run companies, the Academy says. The U.S., Australia and Canada are the favoured bolt holes.
The Academy also notes that while most of those skedaddling are middle ranking officials more and more high-ranking ones have been leaving with ill-gotten gains in recent years. Earlier this month, two former vice mayors of Hangzhou and Suzhou, Xu Maiyong and Jiang Renjie respectively, were executed for bribery. Both took kickbacks from property development projects.
Meanwhile, Zhang Chunjiang, former deputy chairman of state-owned China Mobile has been given a suspended death sentence following his conviction on charges of taking 7.5 million yuan in bribes between 1994 and 2009 when he was deputy director of the Liaoning Provincial Postal Administration and general manager of China Netcom before becoming deputy chairman of China Mobile.