Corruption in the PLA

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics -

A rare pub­lic protest against the Chinese mil­i­tary took place June 18 at the Chinese bor­der city of Shen­zhen, the lo­gis­tics base for all Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army (PLA) troops sta­tioned in nearby Hong Kong.

Scores of an­gry, bois­ter­ous, and banner-hold­ing pro­test­ers, most of them rel­a­tives of re­tired and ac­tive-duty, lower-rank­ing PLA of­fi­cers, stormed the gate to the main base there to protest un­fair and cor­rupt hous­ing poli­cies within the PLA.

The pro­test­ers clashed with armed guards and ac­cused high­rank­ing of­fi­cers at the Shen­zhen bar­racks of tak­ing away their al­lot­ted hous­ing units and con­vert­ing them into lux­u­ri­ous com­mer­cial rental units for per­sonal gain.

The protests are an­other sign that of­fi­cial corruption in China is spi­ral­ing out of con­trol. Two weeks ago, the Chinese cen­tral bank is­sued a re­port on its web­site that said some 16,000 to 18,000 gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials had em­bez­zled $124 bil­lion and fled the coun­try in the last 15 years.

In­sid­ers in Wash­ing­ton and Bei­jing be­lieve that the num­bers are un­der­stated and that a large por­tion of the il­licit cap­i­tal flight took place within the last two years.

The Chinese mil­i­tary cer­tainly is no by­stander in this spec­tac­u­lar heist, with all the priv­i­leged means at its dis­posal to eas­ily and legally by­pass cus­toms con­trols and fi­nan­cial reg­u­la­tors.

A case in point is Vice Adm. Wang Shouye, for­mer deputy com­man­der of the PLA navy who was dis­cov­ered in 2005 with at least five mis­tresses and $26 mil­lion worth of em­bez­zled state funds, much of it found as cash stacked in­side the Ger­man-man­u­fac­tured freezer at his res­i­dence.

ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTO/KYODO NEWS

Flex­ing their mus­cles: Chinese Navy Sovre­menny-Class de­stroyer DDG 138 Taizhou at sea.

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