Leo Timm | Epoch Times[caption id="attachment_5376" align="alignleft" width="210"] Ge Ruyin, head of the People’s Congress of northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province (cpc.people.com.cn)[/caption]
A prominent Chinese official who once oversaw China’s biggest oil-producing region was sacked recently, according to an announcement by the Communist Party’s anti-corruption agency.
Ge Ruyin (pronounced “Guh Roo-yin”), head of the People’s Congress of northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, is the third provincial-level official from the area to be investigated.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection did not give any specific reason for Ge’s investigation beyond “serious violations of discipline.”
An examination of his later career—as mayor or party secretary in the cities of Daqing and Harbin since the late 1990s—shows a constant string of injustices committed against those in his charge: land stolen from disenfranchised farmers, and severe abuses perpetrated against the spiritual practice of Falun Gong.
Ge, born in 1953 in northeastern China’s Liaoning Province, is an engineer by training. In the 1990s he served as vice-mayor of Shenyang, the provincial capital. In 1998 he was reassigned to Heilongjiang, where he was involved in the administration of Harbin and Daqing, before ascending to the provincial People’s Congress.
Heilongjiang, along with Liaoning and Jilin, are the three provinces that comprise Northeast China, a resource-rich industrial region of about 100 million people that borders Mongolia and Siberia.
According to Fangmin.org, a Chinese news site run by disenfranchised and frustrated citizens, Ge Ruyin, when he served as Party secretary of Harbin between 2009 and 2012, was behind widespread economic abuse of and physical attacks against local peasants. Tens of thousands of farmers have reported Ge’s suppression of those upset at the loss of their land to developers.
Locals also believe that Ge facilitated an assault by thousands of thugs armed with knives and shovels to destroy their crops in August 2011. Villagers fought the attackers, which resulted in two deaths.
The same year, peasants complained that Ge had stolen 400 million yuan (about $62 million) that was allocated to them by the Ministry of Construction as compensation for land lost to development.
Residents also implicated a Harbin judge, Wang Kelun, as being one of Ge’s accomplices.
Gao Chuancai, a farmer near Harbin, had his land seized by developers during Ge’s time in office. His wife committed suicide because of the incident, a tragedy followed up by the death of their son when Gao could not afford medical treatment. According to Fangmin, the authorities later charged Gao with murder.
Fangmin also reported that when Harbin vice mayor Nie Lingyuan, who had been reassigned from Beijing, discovered that Ge Ruyin and Harbin official Shi Zhongxin colluded to embezzle the land compensation funds, he soon lost his position.
Later, when Shi Zhongxin’s misdeeds were uncovered in early 2011, Ge interfered with the central authorities’ investigation of peasant complaints, and ordered a media blackout on news regarding Shi’s removal from office.
Politics in Black Gold
The city of Daqing, where Ge Ruyin served as mayor starting in 2002 and as its Communist Party secretary beginning in 2004, is famous for its nearby oilfield, which is the world’s fourth most productive and by far the largest in China. It supplies about a third of the national petroleum output.
Daqing became the site of Communist Party factional struggle in 2013, when shortly after Xi Jinping took office, he launched an anti-corruption campaign targeting Chinese industry, business, and political administration.
One of Xi’s primary enemies in the nationwide purge was Zhou Yongkang, who once directed the Party agency that oversees Chinese police and security forces. In 2014, he was expelled from the Party in disgrace and this June was sentenced to life in prison.
Daqing was where Zhou Yongkang began work in the oil industry during the 1960s, and he maintained a connection to it throughout his political career.]]>