ses and other confidantes abroad, while more sophisticated cadres relied on fake trade documents and overseas investments. Others used credit cards to buy large amounts of luxury goods overseas and then used illicit funds to pay back the fees in China.
Chinese capital controls are supposed to limit individuals to annual remittances of just $50,000 in or out of the country. The sectors that were most at risk of having corrupt officials abscond with stolen funds were “sensitive industries” like finance, state-owned monopolies, construction, transport and tax, investment and trade departments of the government, the report said. Anecdotal evidence suggests the number of officials absconding abroad with stolen assets is increasing, in part because of a senior leadership transition scheduled for late next year. Many officials fear they will be losers in the power struggles that are expected to accompany the transition.
Anti-China feelings rising in Vietnam
Yomiuri Shimbun, 16 June 2011
The Vietnamese Navy conducted live-fire exercises Monday in the South China Sea at a time when anti-China sentiment is rising here over a maritime dispute. Rare anti-China protests have been staged for two weeks in a row. The dispute erupted after a Chinese surveillance boat severed the cables of a Vietnamese marine resources-exploration vessel in waters near Vietnam on May 26. According to Vietnamese authorities, a Vietnamese fishing boat was subsequently fired on by a Chinese surveillance vessel. This revelation whipped up intense anti-China sentiments among many Vietnamese people.
In Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's biggest city, hundreds of protesters vented their anger in front of Chinese diplomatic missions Sunday. Holding up signs with such messages as "China must stop acts of aggression!" the crowds boisterously chanted anti-China slogans under a heavy security presence. A university student who joined the protest in Hanoi said he had heard about the demonstration on the Internet. "I came here to lash out at China," he said. One message online said, "We have driven aggressors out of our country many times...and all generations should take up arms [to fight Chinese aggression]."
Under the Vietnamese Communist Party, street demonstrations unauthorized by the government are strictly banned--as they are in China. Vietnamese authorities this time, however, apparently gave tacit approval to the protests. The outpouring of anger comes at a time of high inflation in Vietnam. Prices of food and other goods have risen about 15 percent since the beginning of the year, stirring discontent among the people. The Vietnamese government appears to have calculated this dissatisfaction could shake the regime's foundations, and could be heightened if it took a conciliatory stance toward China that might inflame nationalistic feelings among the people. Vietnam and China both face simmering discontent due to widening economic disparities among their populace. The confrontational stances taken by Vietnam and China toward each other appears to be the flipside of their domestic situations.
The modern history of the South China Sea is characterized by conflicts between Vietnam and China. In 1974, during the Vietnam War, the Chinese military drove South Vietnamese troops out of the Paracel Islands, which are claimed by Beijing and Hanoi. Armed conflict that erupted in 1988 over the Spratly Islands left more than 100 Vietnamese and Chinese troops killed or missing. Former Vietnam Border Committee Chairman Tran Cong Truc said China was testing Vietnam's reaction to the recent flareup, and warned China would become more aggressive in the South China Sea if Vietnam sat idly by.