Mortgage Boycott Shows How Deep China’s Property Crisis Goes
If there’s one thing that defines China’s leader Xi Jinping’s 10-year reign, then it’s probably his signature anti-corruption campaign that he has used to consolidate power and bolster discipline and loyalty.
The oft-repeated slogan “scraping poison off the bone” denotes his determination to root out corruption, borrowing from a well-known Chinese folktale in which a legendary general had a doctor cut into an old arrow-wound to scrape out poison that had seeped to the bone.
Over the past 10 years, the Communist Party’s anti-corruption agency has investigated and punished 4.7 million members, many of whom received lengthy jail sentences. A handful were made examples of and executed for embezzling egregious amounts of money.
The most notorious case involved Lai Xiaomin, a former top banker, who was executed in January last year for taking a staggering 1.79 billion yuan (US$264.6 million) in bribes – earning him the dubious honour of being the official convicted for receiving the largest amount of kickbacks in the history of the People’s Republic.