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Drug-Busting Cop Hero Nabbed for Trafficking

June 24, 2003

This comes straight from Reuters:

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BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese police officer named a national hero for relentless campaigns against drug trafficking gangs faces prosecution for smuggling heroin, the official Xinhua news agency said Tuesday.

Three years ago, Zhou Kun, head of an anti-drug brigade in the southwestern province of Guizhou, was an "anti-drug hero" who had captured more than 1,000 drug smugglers and more than 50 kg (110 pounds) of narcotics, it said.

In 2000, he was rewarded the title of 'National Advanced Worker' for his remarkable contributions in the nationwide fight against drug trafficking.

But in November railway police caught two members of a trafficking ring on a train in the neighboring province of Kunming - and they said they were working for Zhou.

Zhou was arrested in January and he confessed to drug smuggling narcotics with other traffickers on repeated occasions, Xinhua reported.

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Being Asian and quite interested in and intrigued by the lack of progress in mainland China in terms of political reforms (but still full-steam ahead with the typical communist propaganda and slogans), this just about the what I'd expect...

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June
24, 2003

Being in a single party state (the single party being communist party), it is quite easy for the People's Republic of China government to control the media and to let its people know that the party want them to. Even in such a position, the PRC admits drugs is a problem for the country. So you'd thought the government would do something about it. Well, on the surface, it has - a drug-busting cop was named a 'national hero'.

However, if the state/government/party can't control a high-ranking official working on an 'important state problem', what hope is there for the rest of the 'less important problems'. And these 'less important problems' are not exactly small fries. Thanks to the PRC's signature to the World Trade Organization (which is a good thing), the PRC is obliged to open up a significant portion of its economy to foreign competition. No-one will be awarded the title of a 'national hero' for lower the barriers to foreign competition, which, if implemented, will be equivalent to ringing the bell that signals the end of trading for thousands of Chinese state-owned companies!

So the PRC can't keep its officials for drug busting under control, do you think they give half a thought to really opening up its markets to foreign competition?


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June 25, 2003

In a way, I'm surprised but in another, it is completely in line with my expectation.

I recognized that there're bent cops all over the place - pick a country, there'd be a long history of police malpractice. However, being a single-party state that the PRC is, all news is used as propaganda for the party - some cop just happen to bust a few drug smugglers and he's made a 'national hero' - so that the state appears to be doing something about a problem. My guess is that the PRC probably doesn't let people know how big the drug problem is (there're over 1.25 billion people in the country). According to China's entry in the CIA's World Fact Book 2002, the PRC is "major transshipment point for heroin produced in the Golden Triangle; growing domestic drug abuse problem; source country for chemical precursors and methamphetamine"... You make the call - you think this guy really got to be named a 'national hero' because he busted a bunch of drug smugglers, or it is because the state is so desperate to appear doing something about the problem so to create some 'news'....


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