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China Announces Corruption Cases Broken, TV Transmissions Shut

July 5, 1989

BEIJING (AP) _ China today announced a crackdown on corrupt local officials and said it has solved the capital’s biggest fraud case.

The moves were the government’s latest attempt to deal with some of the complaints that fueled the pro-democracy movement.

The government also promised leniency toward Chinese students who held protests in the United States to condemn the crackdown on the movement.

Also today, the State Tourism Bureau ordered major hotels in Beijing that receive Cable News Network and the American Forces Radio and Television Service to shut down reception of the broadcasts, hotel officials said.

Tourism officials were not immediately available for comment, and the city Foreign Affairs Office said it did not know of any such order.

In another development, Chinese soldiers confiscated film from Japanese tourists affiliated with the Japan Socialist Party after they took pictures from buses of Tiananmen Square, an action forbidden under martial law.

The soldiers boarded three of the four buses and asked people who took pictures of the square to hand over their film, said Hideo Tarumi of the Japanese Embassy’s consular section. Less than 10 people complied, said Tarumi, who added that the embassy considered the incident over and ″not a big deal.″

Official Chinese media today reported arrests, confessions and trials of officials who defrauded their work units and took bribes.

The stories drove home the theme that the ruling Communist Party is involved in a major effort to root out corruption.

Rampant official corruption has been a focus of popular anger. Calls to eliminate it were common among pro-democracy protesters whose seven-week movement was crushed June 4 when troops drove them from Tiananmen Square.

Chinese media said nearly 100 soldiers and police died in the crackdown and that thousands were injured, while about 100 civilians died and nearly 1,000 were injured. Chinese witnesses and Western intelligence sources said the death toll may have been as high as 3,000.

A wave of arrests of pro-democracy activists followed the crackdown, along with the suppression of the free exchange of ideas.

The corruption cases reported today included what the Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily called the biggest fraud case in the Chinese capital since the founding of communist China 40 years ago.

The paper announced the trial of six people charged with defrauding the Chinese Academy of Sciences Microelectronics Center out of $105,000. The paper did not indicate when the trial began or whether a verdict was reached.

Communist Party chiefs in Henan province and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region announced anti-corruption steps Monday ″as part of an effort to respond to the central government’s call on construction of an honest and clean government organ to win the trust of the people,″ a Xinhua report said.

In Henan, government-run companies will be screened by the end of August and anyone engaging in profiteering or blackmail will be sternly punished, Xinhua said. Inner Mongolian officials who have taken advantage of their positions were urged to turn themselves in and return ill-gotten money and goods, the report said.

At a trial in Shanghai, seven people, including four Communist Party members, were charged with cheating the city government’s Textile Industry Bureau out of $35,000, the Legal Daily said.

Led by Liu Zhen, deputy director of the bureau, they charged inflated prices for equipment, concocted bogus expenses and dodged taxes, the paper said. It did not give any results of the trial, which began June 20.

Officials in Wuhan, Hubei province, reported that 13 people have turned themselves in since Jan. 1, including the party secretary of a marine transportation enterprise who confessed in May to accepting bribes of $3,500, the Worker’s Daily said.

Wuhan prosecution authorities ″are using various channels to promote awareness of laws and consequences of corruption, including rewarding informers and protecting them from revenge,″ the paper said.

Officials in Chengdu, Sichuan province, also reported achievements in cracking down on corruption in the first half of this year, the Worker’s Daily said without elaborating.

The government, meanwhile, said it would not investigate Chinese students in the United States who participated in anti-Beijing rallies ″without knowing the truth.″

A statement issued by the Chinese Embassy in Washington said Beijing ″would take a lenient approach toward Chinese students who, without knowing the truth, participated in the demonstrations ... and that it will not look into their cases at all,″ the official Xinhua News Agency.

07-05-89 1040EDT

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