Mar 15, 2009

China's "Rule of Law" and Huang Guangyu

Shortly after my post on "Chinese Catholic Billionaire", I sent emails to the two reporters who had done the most work to try to find the missing Huang Guangyu (Wong Kwong-yu) who disappeared in late November 2008. Neither reporter responded to my emails, so I concluded they weren't eager to ask for or to share information because it might put their Chinese news sources (and jobs) in jeopardy.

Until November 2008, Huang had the distinction of being the richest man in China, the founder and chairman of Gome Group, which is the largest consumer electronics retailer in China. Even more interesting he proclaimed he couldn't be a member of the Communist Party because he is a Catholic.

In lockstep with China's past, Huang was then arrested, and has yet to be formally charged or to make a public appearance in the almost four months since his disappearance into the hands of China's security police, charged in the Chinese media with economic crimes.

The LA Times profiled Huang and noted that "On the backs of Wang’s business cards and those of all Gome employees are Huang’s three cardinal rules:
Do not accept gifts from customers.
Do not take kickbacks.
Do not use your position for personal gain.

Printed at the very bottom is a hotline number for people to report employee misdeeds. Huang said the rules reflected his religious upbringing."

One Chinese news site now has more information on Huang and shows there is internal hassling in China over how to deal with him, especially in view of the new emphasis on China's "rule of law." The "rule of law" is a centerpiece of President Hu Jintao's administration--and he does 'rule the roost' in China. Another Chinese news article bemoans the fact that Huang would have spent the Chinese New Year celebrating at home with his family if the "rule of law" had been followed!

The Chinese "rule of law" advertised by President Hu Jintao and other senior communist party leaders seemed initially to have an air of authenticity. Now it appears to be all propaganda. The real situation is described in an Asia Times news article of July 8, 2008:
Hu, also party general secretary, has given new orders that zhengfa (political and legal) departments - which handle law enforcement and judicial matters - must observe the so-called "three top priorities", meaning the latter must give "utmost priority to the party's enterprise, the people's interests, and the constitution and the law". That the party's goals and concerns override everything else was made clear in a national meeting of judicial and security officials called late last month...
The TimesOnline says it best: "Last November, Huang, his wife, and their chief financial officer disappeared into the grey zone that awaits those who lose their high-level protection – a world without lawyers, court hearings or constitutional rights." Huang Guangyu, for all anyone knows, may have already died in the dungeon of a Beijing prison. The Chinese "rule of law" is only a fiction.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How terribly sad. How long before we must suffer the same fate?
I will keep him and his wife in my prayers.