While China's president Xi Jinping has been conducting a sweeping campaign ever since coming to power over three years ago, meant to root out deply ingrained corruption in China's communist party, one individual was assumed to be immune from prosecution - the person responsible for fabricating and goalseeking China's economic "data", the one in charge of China's National Bureau Of Statistics. That turned out to be wrong when China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection - the local anti-corruption watchdog - announced on Friday it would prosecute the former head of its statistics bureau, Wang Baoan, accusing him of serious violations of discipline, including extravagance, abuse of power and selling power for sex.
According to Reuters, Wang Baoan, the former chief of China's National Bureau of Statistics, who was deputy finance minister from 2012 until April 2015, when he took up the post of statistics bureau chief "lacked political faith, had frequently stayed at expensive hotels, abused his position to get benefits for relatives, and had accepted gifts, property and bribes", the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said.
It turns out that goalseeking fabricated data in China does not pay all that well after all, and instead the former official was not only embezzling funds but also engaged in "superstitious activities", "exchanged power for sex", and was "morally bankrupt", the agency said in a statement on its website.
The CCDI announced the investigation of Wang in January. The latest move expelling him from the party and handing his case over to legal authorities indicates he will face prosecution.
Reuters said was not able to reach Wang for comment and it was unclear if he had been able to retain a lawyer. China's courts are controlled by the party, and convictions in such cases are generally a foregone conclusion.
Finally, since making up China's economic numbers is a job that has zero barriers to entry, and requires no skill, we send our condolences to Wang: once swallowed by China's giant apparatus which he lied for years to defend, he will not reemerge.