The Public Security Flower

(Legal Weekly via Shenyang Daily)  Former Anhui Deputy Director Used Sex To Bargain For Power.

[in translation]

A female worker with only an elementary school education was known as the "Flower" of the public security system.  She "used sex to bargain for power" and hooked up with two provincial-level senior officials.  In less than 6 years' time, she was promoted from a deputy division chief to a deputy director of a provincial0level department.

On the afternoon of September 19, 2006, Shang Jun was prosecuted by the Anhui province Anqing city procuratorate for allegedly receiving bribes of more than 900,000 RMB and possessing more than 980,000 RMB in assets of unknown origin.

The Anhui province Anqing city procuratorate set up an investigation of Shang Jun on March 18 and then arrested her on March 30 in accordance with the law.  The procuratorate charged that between 1992 and 2005, Shang Jun worked in Fuyang city and used methods such as allocating projects, assigning cadres to job positions and intervening in judicial decisions to extract more than 900,000 RMB and US$200 from 41 individuals in exchange for favors.  She also had family assets of more than 980,000 RMB without any legitimate source.

Shang Jun was born in January 1957 in Chengguan town, Taihuo County, Anhui province.  After graduating from elementary school, she became a worker in a food factory.  Then she became a female police officer at the Shuisheng police station.  She is 1.68 meters tall, she has a tall nose and big eyes and she can tell jokes.  She was therefore known as the "Flower" in the public security system.

According to informed sources, the county public security bureau leader Li came to the police station to inspect.  Shang Jun was invited to the banquet.  Afterwards, she was to take care of Li who had too much to drink . Soon after, Shang Jun was appointed the deputy director and instructor of the police station.  Later she was transferred to the county court.  In less than three years, she had become the deputy director of the county court.

In the spring of 1990, then Fuyang party secretary Wang Zhaoyao came to the county court to inspect.  Shang Jun quickly attracted the attention of Wang Zhaoyao.  Soon she became the Taihuo county People's Court director.  Four months after Wang Zhaoyao became Anhui province deputy governor, Shang Jun was promoted to deputy director of the Fuyang district middle court.

Wang Huaizhong was the replacement of Wang Zhaoyao as Fuyang party secretary.  During one inspection trip, he became acquainted with Shang Jun who soon became a frequent visitor to Wang Huaizhong's presidential suite.  Under the patronage of the two Wang's, Shang Jun quickly became the president of the Fuyang district middle court.

Shang Jun used her administrative powers to make personnel decisions, and even intervened in judicial decisions.

In May 2005, a judge from the Fuyang middle court was arrested for conspiracy.  To beg for leniency, the judge exposed many other court officials.  After the two "Wang's" fell, Shang Jun and others were implicated.

In early 2005, Shang Jun was transferred to become deputy director of the Anhui province health department.  On October 1, the Anhui province People's Government announced that she has been relieved as deputy director of the Anhui province health department.

According to Xinhua, during the interrogation, Shang Jun confessed her special relationships with the two Wang's and admitted that she used sex to bargain for power.

By this time, you must be piqued to see what Shang Jun looks like.  When Shanghai party secretary Chen Liangyu fell, the rumor mill pointed to top Shanghai-based model Mary Ma as his mistress (see Comment 200610#011).  There was no basis for that linkage except that Chen was the top leader in Shanghai and Ma was the top model in Shanghai.

So maybe Shang Jun is not in the same class as Mary Ma, but she must be a good-looker, right?  At first, the most prevalent portrayal of Shang Jun was this cartoon of a flower holding bribery money in one hand and a love-heart in the other hand:

Then diligent netizens went through the local news reports to come up with these photographs (via 原野之风).

She isn't that tall, her nose isn't that impressive and her eyes are not that big.  At this point, people begin to doubt the report that you have just read above.  Nevertheless, the sex-driven news reports were making Shang Jun a national figure, which triggered the follow-up report below.

(Southern People Weekly via  The Female Corrupt Official "Used Sex To Bargain for Power" Was Just Fiction.  By Chen Lei (陈磊).  September 23, 2006.

[in translation]

Former Anhui Department of Health Deputy Director Shang Jun never imagined that after her government career ended with her arrest, so many people would criticize her -- sex-related rumors about her flooded Fuyang city.  This made her family members feel ashamed and pained.  When the relevant newspapers reached Taihuo county in Anhui province, her relatives purchased all the available copies.  Yet the rumors persisted as those newspaper articles were reproduced and privately circulated.  Was Shang Jun a woman who "used sex to bargain for power" and "bribed through sex"?  Our reporter traveled to Fuyang and Anqing to investigate.

The prosecutor's materials showed that Shang Jun was born in November 1954, and not 1957 as suggested by some newspapers.  She was not of working class origin -- her father was a cadre with the party discipline committee in Taihuo county.  But he had many children, so Shang Jun grew up in a tough environment.  The family raised pigs and ducks at home to supplement household income.  As the elder daughter of the family, Shang Jun knew the hardships of life.

In 1970, the 16-year-old Shang Jun went to work at a food factory in Taihuo county and she carried sugar bags there.  In 1972, 18-year-old Shang Jun was transferred to the Taihuo county Sheng Shui police station where she became a female police officer.  According to Shang Jun's ex-husband, there were very few female police officers inside the entire public security system.  Nobody wanted that kind of job because it was tough and dangerous.  But for Shang Jun, this was a good change from the food factory.  At the Shui Sheng police station, Shang Jun worked hard.  She broke the case of the boat people stealing coal.  Without any supervision, she made an inventory of all the stolen goods and then turned everything in.  She worked for several days without stop and when she finally got back to the office, she fainted.

Hard work earned rewards, and Shang Jun was praised repeatedly.  She received the only Second Class Merit award in the Taihuo county public security system.  In 1980, she was promoted to become the deputy instructor of the Sheng Shui police station (note: the instructor position was unfilled at the time).  At the time, Shang Jun and her husband were both working at the Sheng Shui police station.  Whereas he spent his spare time reading books, she went to talk to the leaders in her spare time and made some good food for the director's grandchildren.  Thus, she got along with her leaders.  Shang Jun was a sweet talker, calling the leaders "Uncle" and "Auntie."  A cadre who was a leader with the Taihuo county public security system told the reporter that he remembered Shang Jun having a strong presence.

In 1984, 30-year-old Shang Jun was transferred from deputy instructor at Sheng Shui police station to become deputy director of the Taihuo Court.  This decision shocked many people.  Whether based upon her professional expertise or educational background, Shang Jun who was only a elementary school student in the Cultural Revolution era did not seem qualified to become a deputy director of the court.

Then Taihuo county court director Wang Zhiren recalled that one day the county political law committee secretary Zhang Side told him: "I recommend someone to you.  A hard working person.  It is a female comrade.  She is very good."  Prior to that, Wang Zhiren had never heard of Shang Jun.  But since the leader had spoken, he could not say anything in spite of his doubts.  So Shang Jun got the job.

More surprisingly, circa 1988, Shang Jun went on to compete for the open position in the county party standing committee against then public security bureau director Lian.  When Shang Jun was promoted from deputy instructor to court deputy directory, she was just a division deputy.  Around 1986, the state re-classified the status of the court so that the court director is a provincial-level deputy while the court deputy director is a division director.  But it was odd that the court director was not the one competing for the county party standing committee, and the female court deputy director was doing it instead.

In that secret struggle for the county party standing committee, Shang Jun lost.  But it did not affect the good impression that the leaders got.  Afterwards, Shang Jun and her husband went to visit a top county leader who praised Shang Jun in front of his wife, saying that female comrades should all be as hardworking as Shang Jun.

Shang Jun quickly received another opportunity.  At the time, housing was tight in Taihuo county.  A deputy director named Li was transferred back from the army and needed housing urgently, but the court had limited funds.  So, as a result of "a discussion among the court party organization members," a certain fraction of the legal fees collected from civil cases was allocated to acquiring land and building a house.  Soon afterwards, someone filed a complaint about this illegal act and court director Wang Zhiren was "issued a warning" and transferred away in May 1990.

The shocking thing was that although court deputy director Shang Jun participated in the same discussion, she was not penalized.  Instead she was actually promoted to take over the court director position.  After ascending to that position, Shang Jun began to exhibit her capabilities.  A huge exhibition was organized at the county political law committee building and the county committee leaders, the city government leaders and the sister departments in the provincial court system were invited to attend.  It is hard to say what the overall impact of this exhibition was, but Shang Jun achieved her principal objectives -- the Fuyang party committee administrative section's Xu and the Taihuo county leaders praised her work.

Even more attention-grabbing was that a mysterious incident took place at the Taihuo county court: with the doors and windows shut and unbreached, a letter containing two bullets was found at the desk of court director Shang Jun!  This was treated as a serious political act by the Taihuo county committee.  For outsiders, it looked like Shang Jun must have crossed certain people.  So the county political law committee formed a team from the public security, procuratorate and law agencies to investigate.  But the case never solved.

Many years later, people realized that it was a carefully planned act.  The "bullet incident" provided Shang Jun with excellent opportunities.  In early 1992, after just over one year as Taihuo county director, Shang Jun was promoted to become Fuyang City District Middle Court deputy director.  This surprised people once again.  "In terms of work capability, Shang Jun was middling.  Her accomplishments were middling.  Although she has tried to improve herself, she is still at early middle school level in education."

Even as Shang Jun's career took off, her marriage was hitting the skids.  Her former husband attributed their marital conflicts as "personality clashes."  At the same time, he acknowledged that when they were colleagues at the Sheng Shui police station in Taihuo county, they got along harmoniously.  They frequently "exchange ideas and views on cases."

Gradually, their paths began to diverge.  When Shang Jun became the deputy instructor at the police station, she became more pragmatic in her work.  Her ex-husband was transferred to the public security bureau secretariat to handle documents.  "I was buried in text documents every day.  I became less and less able to deal with people, while she was getting better at managing human relationships."

In 1992, after Shang Jun was transferred to Fuyang, the couple lived apart and grew even more estranged.  In early 1996, the two agreed to divorce.  Today, more than a decade after the divorce, he still cares about her.  He asked the reporter about her health status under detention.  He told the reporter that the sex-related rumors in the newspaper articles were all nonsense.  He was quite angry.  "Those were all fabrications.  We separated because of incompatible personalities."

The breakdown of the marriage did not put a brake on Shang Jun's career.  In 1995, she became the Fuyang district Middle Court director.  In 1997, Fuyang district became Fuyang city, and Shang Jun was transferred to become the Fuyang city deputy mayor.  In February 1999, she became the discipline committee secretary of the Fuyang city party standing committee, and then Fuyang city party deputy secretary.

The prosecutor's charge sheet stated that from 1992, Fuyang middle court deputy director Shang Jun began to accept bribes on a large scale.  The charge sheet stated that Shang Jun was found to have accepted more than 900,000 RMB in bribes, with the largest single sum being more than 300,000 RMB and the smallest single sum being 2,000 RMB.  Shang Jun was taking anything from anyone.

Compared to certain officials who took the money but failed to deliver, Shang Jun was different.  She came from the grassroots.  Although she was female and she had been involved in public security and court systems for many years, she had no respect for the law.  Instead, she had a strong sense of "personal loyalty."  If she took someone's money, she would do the best for the person.

Before the Chinese New Year in 2000, Fuyang city judicial department employee Ding wanted to transfer to work at the city discipline committee.  He went with his wife to deliver 5,000 RMB at Shang Jun's home.  Shang Jun took the money and promised to help.  Afterwards, Shang Jun spoke to the relevant persons at the Fuyang city discipline committee.  In May that year, Ding was transferred to work at the Fuyang city discipline committee.  In June 2005, Shang Jun was transferred to become deputy director of the Hefei department of health.  Five years afterwards, Shang Jun did not forget what Ding asked and she formalized Ding's job at the Fuyang city discipline committee.

Anqing city procuratorate public complaints office director Zhang Yanping told the reporter that, in an overall sense, it was her "personal loyalty" that brought her down.  She tried to help anyone who asked her: if she took their money, she would help them.  There was no exception in any of the 41 cases of suspected bribery.  "In the end, she was even taking money from the litigants in civil cases."

Even as she dealt with others based upon "personal loyalty," she showered her own family with care: her younger sister was promoted from a typist at the Taihuo county discipline committee to Fuyang city political consultative committee division cadre.  Her young brother has been the Taihuo county finance department head for many years.  Her cousin Han is the Taihuo county court deputy director.  Her brother-in-law Wang was the chairman of a Taihuo county pharmaceutical company while also being the Taihuo county party deputy secretary.

Even today, the rapid rise of Shang Jun was a mystery to many people.  She only had an elementary school education, she had no family background and she had no money, so why was her career so smooth?  People who are familiar with corruption in officialdom began to link her promotion with her gender and claimed that she must have "used sex to gain power."  Anqing city procuratorate's Zhang Yanping as well as Shang Jun's defense lawyer Liu Jinshan both told this reporter that there is not a single hint of "sex-for-power" in the entire case.

"After reading those reports about Shang Jun, I really feel frightened.  Must female officials who are decent looking be subjected to rumors?"  As a female, Zhang Yanping was sympathetic towards Shang Jun.

During these interviews, many people pointed out the flaws in the "sex-related rumors."  For example, Shang Jun has only worked at the Taihuo county Sheng Shui police station in her career in public security.  There was no such thing as a later leader despising her and transferring her to a "remote police station."  There was also no such things as "the principal leader named Li in the public security system."  But the rumors continue.  "Or else how can you explain the rapid rise of Shang Jun of one grade every one or two years?" someone asked.

Former Fuyang city party committee deputy secretary-general Fan Yushan told the reporter that Shang Jun was ordinary looking and her rapid rise was principally due to her gender advantage.  The national policy requires a certain proportion of women among the various leadership levels.

Another old cadre who wishes to remain anonymous told the reporter that Shang Jun was able to get along with several female leaders and this helped her career a lot.  "The key thing was that she regarded career promotion as very important to her.  She wanted to move up badly and she intentionally went out to cultivate those people who would be useful," said a Taihuo county cadre who is of the same age as Shang Jun and had worked with her.

The Reporter's Notes:

Reports on corrupt officials frequently show connections to sex, even in the cases of women.  The former Zhejiang province Construction Department deputy director Yang Xiuzhu, the Sanxiang major corruption figure Jiang Yanping and the Shenzhen Luowu public security bureau director An Huijun -- when the media exposed their criminal acts and motives, they spent a vast amount of coverage on the sex-related aspects with lively descriptions and meticulous details.  But that only make people dubious.

So now the media are chasing after the sex-related incident of former Anhui province Department of Health deputy director Shang Jun.  After the reporter went to Fuyang and Anqing to investigate, he established that this piece of "news" was fabricated from zero supporting evidence.

At the moment, women have a gender advantage when they participate in politics -- the minimum percentage of females at various levels are set at certain levels.  Thus, Shang Jun was able to rise rapidly even though she only had an elementary school education.  This was related to the scarcity of female cadres.  But the disadvantage is that a woman who is slightly good looking will see her career linked to sexploitation.  For those corrupt female officials, certain details about them will be exaggerated if the actual information is not disclosed fully in a timely manner.

While it is normal for a healthy society to hate corruption, we ought to respect even the persons of corrupt officials such as Shang Jun.  Without concrete evidence, we cannot demean their persons by accusing them of "using sex to gain power."  To report on their criminal activities in an objective and accurate manner is not only an expression of the self-discipline of our media, it is also a form of respect to a civilized society.