Death of CCP boss on the golfcourse raises corruption quetions

In the US, government officials playing golf with rich business execs wouldn’t be anything strange. It seems to be an issue in China, though, where the head of the CCP demonstrated poor judgment by dying on the green:

The head of the Chinese Communist party in Chairman Mao’s home town has died on a golf course, prompting a full investigation into his presence at such a potent symbol of capitalism.

Li Zhen’e, party secretary of Changsha in Hunan province, was at the course with two representatives of a local car manufacturer and two Japanese visitors. Late for his next appointment, Mr Li drove off in a golf buggy, but the vehicle went out of control and fell 10 feet on to a concrete road, killing him.

The location of his death raised many eyebrows and the party opened an inquiry. It concluded that there was no evidence of corruption, but it also found many niggling questions concerning the relationship between the party, big business and the sport of the “very wealthy”.

The findings did not satisfy some internet commentators, who asked whether Mr Li was doing public relations for his city, the car manufacturers or himself.

“Whatever the truth, public perception of corrupt officials seems to have been reinforced,” reported Xinhua, the state news agency.

Odd. There are golf courses in China, so how can someone be faulted for dying at one? Do all good CCP biggies die at the Great Hall of the People? As for a government official hanging out with car manufacturers, all I can say is Big Deal.

The Discussion: 3 Comments

I actually read about this event in a different context. Last weekends Southern Weekend carried a story about this, but rather than focussing on the guy himself, the author pointed out that the cause of death had been both reported as ‘golf-buggy went out of control and over a cliff’ and ‘car overturned on way back from important meeting’ and then went on to make some points about journalistic integrity. Assuming I understood the Chinese, at least.


November 12, 2003 @ 3:06 am | Comment

Headline of the Day

This just in: Local Communist Party Chairman dies in fatal golfing accident during private outing with capitalist bigwigs. And, in

November 12, 2003 @ 4:11 am | Comment

This Golfing Life

I can resist it, I’m coming off-category. Conrad and Richard are running a brilliant story, at least I think its brillant. It concerns health and safety at work: although in this case we are not talking about a construction site…

November 12, 2003 @ 3:54 pm | Comment

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