China media: Tycoon execution

China’s state-controlled print media declare that justice has been done after the execution of powerful Sichuan-based mining tycoon Liu Han.


The former chairman of the Hanlong Group was sentenced to death in May for “leading mafia-style crime and murder”.

He is reported to have had links to disgraced security official Zhou Yongkang, who is currently under investigation for breaching party discipline – often a reference to corruption allegations.

Official media reports, however, make no mention of such links, and indeed refrain from any wider comment beyond welcoming news of Liu’s execution.

“The dark evil ones face execution, justice has finally arrived,” trumpets the state news agency Xinhua.

“This shows the total destruction of the mega-mafia organisation, and also fully reflects the belief and determination of the central government to pursue rule of law and clamp down on the evil and illegal forces.”

Describing Liu Han and his alleged associates as the “people’s enemy”, the agency quotes observers as saying that the case “sends a signal” that the leadership’s ambitious legal and anti-corruption reforms are gathering pace.

“The reform process is being strengthened,” the report says. “There will be no ‘privileged citizens’ if we continue to strengthen the rule of law and improve the legal system where everyone can enjoy justice.”

In contrast to the mainland Chinese media, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post openly connects Liu with Mr Zhou, describing him as an associate of the latter’s son.

“While close ties between the business community and party officials are common in China, Liu’s case has exposed in surprising detail large networks of the rich and their uncertain role in political struggles,” daily comments.

‘Greedy’ executives

On a related topic, the press also focuses on comments by Premier Li Keqiang vowing to step up anti-corruption efforts in state-owned enterprises.

Mr Li said on Monday that the government would “devolve some powers to lower levels in order to reduce scope for officials bargaining for benefits”, according to Xinhua.

The premier acknowledged that corruption “still plagues the government” and called for tightening of supervision over state-owned businesses to “make sure no national property is pocketed by a small number of corrupt officials”.

Backing Mr Li’s call, the China Daily argues that the lack of effective supervision and accountability in the state sector is “an invitation to absolute corruption”.

In a strongly-worded editorial, the daily lambasts “greedy” executives whose deeds had “reduced them to not even qualifying as citizens”.

Corruption is rampant even in China’s film, radio and television industries, according to media reports, with the Beijing Times highlighting several recent cases in the sector.

The areas affected include censorship, advertisement as well as content and equipment procurement, the paper says, and quotes observers as welcoming moves to “cleanse the industry and win the trust of the people”.

Wang Hailin, a screenwriter, tells the Global Times that some producers promise TV station executives money to pay for their work to get past the censors, allowing “poor-quality” films and TV series onto the market.

And finally, the Global Times reports that several Chinese student representatives were expelled from an international discussion event after they protested against Taiwan being listed as a sovereign nation in the conference handbook.

The participants had been attending the Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN), at which young delegates from around the world simulate being the United Nations.

After a request by Chinese delegates for a change to the handbook was rejected “owing to copyright issues”, some of them “ended up being ejected from a meeting”, according to the report.

The paper’s editorial takes HMUN’s organisers to task, saying their “mistake” in granting Taiwan even simulated UN membership is not to be taken lightly.

“Although it’s organized by students, the HMUN is a serious simulation of the real United Nations,” the paper says. “The blunder should not just be brushed away.”