For the Wall Street Journal’s China Realtime blog, Russell Leigh Moses of the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies, recently compiled various quotations published in Chinese state media from public officials convicted of corruption or embezzlement trying to explain and justify their actions, often pretty audaciously. Here are some of them…
A former vice-mayor in the city of Meishan in China’s southwest Sichuan province:
Declining to go with the flow, according to this official, “wouldn’t have been good for my work, and it would have rendered further promotion out of the question.”
Tan Xinsheng, former deputy mayor of Tongnan in the megacity of Chongqing:
“My motive wasn’t for the money itself, but because it’s normal job behavior to accept gifts and payments when offered them…”
For the Good of the Nation
A former deputy governor in Shandong province:
… the official declared that nearly all of the money he accepted [5.6 million yuan] had simply been set aside – and that he was in principle saving money for the country.
What Else Are Best Friends For?
A vice mayor from Shanxi province:
…accepted 2 million yuan because he thought the person bribing him merely wanted to be close friends and that the money was a reflection of the two of them “hitting it off,”
Xu Jing, teacher, Beijing University for Industry:
She embezzled more than 9 million yuan, and used a third of that amount to fund her daughter studying abroad. […] Xu maintained that using the money to send her daughter overseas to study was compatible with “the national program to nurture talent for the country” and therefore shouldn’t be considered corruption.
Liu Tienan, former deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission:
…Liu said that he accepted bribes because he had anxiety about old age and was worried about where he would end up after he retired.