Fall Of High-Level Party Official Who Faked Economic Data Triggers Concern Over China’s Economy

June 6, 2022   |   Tags:
Fall Of High-Level Party Official Who Faked Economic Data Triggers Concern Over China's Economy

Authored by Sophia Lam via The Epoch Times,

China’s top disciplinary watchdog announced on May 31 that it has removed a former top official in eastern Jiangsu Province from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the regime’s public office.

Zhang Jinghua, former deputy CCP chief of Jiangsu, was accused of “faking economic figures for personal promotion and meddling in market activities in violation of relevant rules,” among other charges of corruption, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) in a notice on May 31. It did not provide any specifics for the accusation.

Zhang is one of the most recent CCP members of the 19th central committee—the CCP’s top governing body—to fall.

One day prior, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) held a virtual meeting in which its director, Kang Yi, said that the problem of statistical falsification still exists in China.

On May 27, the NBS stated that 126 lower-level officials in Hebei, Henan, and Guizhou provinces had been punished for fabricating statistical data.

This wave of purging data fabrication began in March when the CCDI wrote on its website that some local officials had falsified data to create an illusion of development and manipulated statistical data by “reminding” and ordering relevant departments to make the necessary changes.

Foreign investment banks have already cut their China growth forecasts after the regime’s COVID-19 lockdowns hit the economy of Shanghai hard, with Nomura predicting growth of 3.9 percent.

Statistics to Suit Party’s Political Needs

For the CCP, statistics have three functions, according to Wang He, a China current affairs commentator in a recent interview with the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times: to support decision-making, to serve politics, and to brainwash the people. But the first function is nominal, he said.

“To effectively support decision-making, the authenticity, timeliness, and completeness of statistical data must be of top priority,” Wang said.

But the norm in CCP officialdom, Wang said, is to use data to serve the party’s political purposes. He noted that fake data assists CCP officials in their promotion through the ranks, which in turn spurs them to continue forging data for further promotion.

“The CCP uses false data to fool the people that the situation in China is always great, as lies are a basic element of the CCP’s rule,” Wang said.

The recent purging of false data by the CCP now is again for political reasons, Wang added, rather than motivated by economic transparency, as the regime is in the critical months before the CCP’s 20th national congress to be held in autumn for political reshuffling.

China’s GDP Figures ‘Man-made,’ Unreliable: Premier

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang participates in a press conference at Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing, China, on Nov. 21, 2019. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

The Chinese regime has long been criticized for massaging its economic data, including GDP figures, population, and other indicators.

Chinese premier Li Keqiang, then party secretary of northeastern Liaoning Province, reportedly said to Clark T. Randt, Jr., former U.S. ambassador to China, that China’s “GDP figures are ‘man-made’ and therefore unreliable,” over dinner on March 12, 2007, as disclosed by Wikileaks.

He also acknowledged the economic crisis facing China in 2020 when he told reporters at a presser on May 28 that “there are 600 million people whose monthly income is only 1,000 yuan ($140).”

China’s population is 1.439 billion; 600 million people is roughly 41.7 percent of the total population.

In January 2017, Chen Qiufa, then governor of Liaoning Province, confirmed at the provincial people’s congress that the cities and counties of Liaoning had problems with falsifying financial data from 2011 to 2014, as reported by the CCP’s mouthpiece Xinhua News Agency.

In January 2018, Inner Mongolia revealed that its economic data was substantially falsified—its 2016 industrial output was substantially inflated by 40 percent and that fake growth amounted to 290 billion yuan (roughly $43.5 billion).

In addition to Liaoning and Inner Mongolia, Jilin Province and Tianjin City were forced to revise their data after they were found to have inflated or manipulated economic statistics over the past few years, according to a Bloomberg report.

Tyler Durden Mon, 06/06/2022 - 21:40