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The rise and fall of a native son of Juzifang village

July 28, 2015

konjaku: although I found no articles or posts, on or by Juzifang villagers, giving their reactions to the demolition of their village and transfer to replacement housing, there is a considerable account of information on one native son of the village, Liu Xiquan. The career of Liu Xiquan illustrates one aspect of the urban rural transformation. The pace and pressure may be particularly intense in Chaoyang district. Because of the expansion of the Central Business District (CBD) into three additional zones of high rise office buildings “anchored by signature parks and green boulevards,” there is a huge amount of development capital at play.

http://www.som.com/projects/beijing_cbd_east_expansion

CBD eastern expansion

CBD eastern expansion

Beijing Chaoyang District Deputy District Head Liu Xiquan arrested for bribery –was in charge of village demolition work
2011-06-21
http://politics.people.com.cn/GB/1026/14953447.html

MAIN201207180857000075794245327

When he was 19, he began as deputy director of the village production brigade. At 55, Liu Xiquan, while pursuing a political career, has never completed separated from agriculture, and he has never completely separated from Chaoyang. For 36 years, in Chaoyang. which is both city and suburb, he experienced the complex ups-and-downs of urban transformation. Many village residents had to part from their land, many parcels of agricultural land were shifted to industry. In the midst of an era of massive changes, Liu Xiquan was responsible for the work of demolition. It was a powerful position. In charge of huge sums of money, he faced difficult tests of character.

Yesterday this newspaper reported that Liu Xiquan was under investigation for suspicion of taking a bribe. As of today, as a result of the investigation, the District Deputy Chief of Agriculture reported that Liu Xiquan had been formally arrested on criminal charges.

A person close to the investigation leaked that the matter in question is 200 million yuan diverted to set up a slush fund for the Agricultural Commission. A certain amount of this fund was supposed to be used for compensation to those relocated in the demolition of Jinzhan town.

Apparently, at the opening ceremony of the Jinzhan town new construction project, a certain teacher “created a disturbance.” The dormitory the teacher lived in was demolished, but the teacher had neither received compensation money nor replacement housing. This alarmed the city leadership present at the ceremony. Not long after that an investigation was begun into the demolition situation at Jinzhan town. From looking at the account books of the finance official in the Agriculture Commission, and another in the office of the Green Zone Construction Headquarters, a conspiracy came to light. In short order, in 2011-05 mid-month, the Agriculture Commission deputy-director Dong Jinting, the Agriculture working committee secretary Wang Baojun, Chaoyang Deputy Director Liu Xiquan, and the Agriculture Commission Director Chen Xiaodong, were all taken away for questioning.

A reporter from this newspaper was unable to find the whereabouts of these Agricultural officials. A few days later, their names disappeared from the Agricultural Commission website.

In addition to being suspected of diverting demolition compensation funds, Liu Xiquan’s younger brother Liu Xiwu was suspected of having “foreknowledge” about the demolition plans. That is, knowing which areas would be demolished, he snatched up the land at a low price and constructed buildings on the sites, to illegally receive compensation.

However, Liu Xiquan’s face is still up on the District government website.

Liu Xiquan’s career

In 1956-04, Liu Xiquan was born in Chaoyang district, Dongba town, Juzifang village. At present this village has been demolished, only a few scattered village houses remain. A villager pointed to the ruins of a demolished house on a plot of land at the top west position of the village, and said, “ This is the old Liu family house. It occupied more than 100 square meters. It was the largest, tallest, and best house in the village.”

As an insider revealed, Liu Xiquan’s father Liu Yaoyuan was a cadre in the People’s Commune of Dongpa town. When Liu Xiquan was 18 he became an agrotechnician, at 19 he was made Deputy Director of the production brigade, at 22 he was sent to the Beijing Municipal Party Committee Government and Administration School to study for three years. After he graduated and returned home, Liu Xiquan was appointed jointly as Juzifang village party branch secretary, and as deputy director of the agriculture, industry and commerce corporation. He held these positions for six years. During that period the media reported that the accumulated capital of the Juzifang village collective increased by 30 times every year.

A number of villagers said, when Liu Xiquan was village party branch secretary, he approached matters calmly and with complete self-possession, and did things according to his own methods. However, he gave the impression that he was not concerned with human feeling. As an example, villagers point to the dispute between Liu Xiquan and his childhood friend, Chen Jun (a pseudonym).

Chen Jun was a Juzifang villager, he was a primary and junior middle school classmate of Liu Xiquan’s. Chen Jun made his living raising sheep. After getting married, he had three children outside the state planned birth requirement. At that time, Liu Xiquan had just become party branch secretary. To make an example of Chen Jun before the whole village, he directed the production brigade to kill and eat all of Chen Jun’s sheep, and to demolish his house.

In 1994, Liu Xiquan was reassigned as CP committee secretary for Jinzhan town. Jinzhan town was at the time one of the three poorest areas of Chaoyang. Resident’s yearly income was on average a few hundred yuan. Liu Xiquan spend several months in thoroughgoing research, then set about developing three projects: “Urban Agriculture developments,” “Crab Island Resort Island” and “Tulip Garden.” Two of these projects became very successful, giving Liu in the days to come significant credit, to boost his future career.

A collegue who knew Liu Xiquan at that time said he was completely dedicated to developing Crab Island. He took a team of people with him to perfprm on the site inspections of Xiaotangshan in Changping district. “Because he was from an agricultural background, the questions he raised during the inspection were very specific regarding agricultural issues, causing those on the scene to admire him quite a bit.”

But as several Changdian villagers said, a section of village collective land was taken over for these two projects. The village party branch secretary rented the land out to developers, but did not give the villagers any compensation money. The dissatisfied villagers complained to a higher level of government, and went to measure the land taken for Crab Island themselves, finding it to be 22 acres, for which they had received nothing. The relevant government bureau found the villagers to be correct. The then village party branch secretary took responsibility and was transferred to another post, and has not since returned.

From 1999, Liu Xiquan steadily rose, from the Chaoyang Agricultural Commission Director to finally become Deputy-Director of Chaoyang District. In this post his responsibility was in urban rural unification, in urbanization of the villages,and creating the green zone. He was responsible for large-scale projects,and was the top authority of the famous Dawangjing village demolition pilot project.

According to colleagues, Liu Xiquan stayed out of the limelight and focussed intensely on the job to be done. The Agricultural Commission cadres all evaluated him highly. “There were so many demolitions going on, but so few incidents of village groups launching complaints to the higher levels of government, which illustrates that the Agriculture Commission was fully prepared for any eventuality.”

In Chaoyang official circles, Liu Xiquan was particularly close to the Agriculture working committee secretary Wang Baojun. Wang Baojun’s career followed pretty much the same course as Liu Xiquan’s, the two first worked together as CP committee members of Jinzhan town.

In Chaoyang, in which new construction projects in the villages and towns were numerous and sweeping in scope, The Agricultural Commission was the real power. Liu Xiquan came up through the Agricultural Commission, and had the heavy responsibility to allocate huge sums of money.

Land in Chaoyang which the district government intended to take over, formed a part of the land to be requisitioned under the overall Beijing city plan. 2009-07-18, Chaoyang district held a meeting to prepare the land to be requisitioned for urban rural unification. Those in the meeting proposed the sum of 26.2 square kilometers of land to be set aside for this purpose, in the northeast and east sections of the district, in the area of Jinzhan, Dongba,and Pingfang towns. Altogether it would mean demolishing and relocating eight towns, more than 20 villages, and relocating 104,000 residents. The Chaoyang Finance Bureau leaked that for 2009-2010 there was a fund of 117.1 billion yuan (18.8 billion dollars) set aside for this project, with 86 billion yuan set aside for demolition, compensation, and relocation. That Liu Xiquan had responsibility over this amount of money is quite astonishing.

To manage this huge sum, Chaoyang district issued guidelines, which specified a watchdog group whose duty was to track the spending. This group operated under the direction of the leader in charge, namely, Liu Xiquan. Because the authority ultimately rested with Liu Xiquan, he could divert money free from any oversight.

Liu Xiquan’s younger brother was also implicated in the case. Liu Xiquan is the second oldest of five siblings, he has an older sister, two younger brothers, and one younger sister. His wife Wei Jingling was originally an accountant in Dongba town, with Liu she had one son and one daughter. Their son Liu Wei is already grown up and married, he opened a restaurant in Pingfang town. Every time the Agricultural Commission has a banquet or other function, they use his restaurant. His daughter is studying abroad in Australia.

The fourth oldest of the five siblings, Liu Xiquan’s younger brother Liu Xiwu, was in the past sent to prison for eight years for armed robbery. Afterwards his sentence was commuted to two and a half years. After he got out of jail, in two years he started three companies under his own name. In 2003, he founded a Beijing Audi dealership, with registered capital of 5 million yuan. In 2004, a restaurant, with registered capital of 400,000 yuan. Again in 2004, he started a home furnishings and decoration company, with a registered capital of 100,000 yuan. These companies, one after another, all had their licenses cancelled or revoked.

A villager of Changdian village Jinzhan town, said that Liu Xiwu knew which villages were going to be demolished in advance, and built buildings on the land. He was a well known local character in a number of villages around Changdian, in which he had several properties on which he raised dogs. This reporter found there was an aquatic breeding farm under his name, with an address in Juzifang village, but its business license had been revoked.

Reporters Wang Yi, Mu Yi, Wen Jing, trainee Zhou Fanfan, Finance and Economics Magazine

konjaku: a month or so later, further details:

http://news.sina.com.cn/c/sd/2011-08-03/170022928162.shtml

According to one local, Liu Xiwu to most gave the impression of being a specialty dog breeder. “Liu Xiwu had a manor house and estate, inside he raised fine horses and dogs, and he had a big fishpond. On holidays Liu Xiquan always came with his friends, other officials, for amusement.” An insider in the Chaoyang district government said, the dogs had a certain bearing on Liu Xiquan’s promotions. When he gave a present to one of his superiors, he always sent a dog, a highly sought after breed, a dog that cost 100,000 yuan or more.

In Juzifang village, which was Liu Xiquan’s hometown and where his official career began, Liu Xiwu had an aquatic breeding farm [“Golden Auspicious Aquatic Farm”] and a dog kennel [“Mountain Deities Dog Pen”]. The former was to the west of the village. It has been demolished, and in its location a high level building has been built, replacement housing for the villagers. The later was in the north of the village, next to the Liu family old homestead. Not long ago it was also demolished, reduced to ruins.

An old person who lived near the aquatic farm, said that previously the land comprising 13 acres, had been a vegetable plot for the village, in 2008 it had been taken over by the Liu family. Other local residents said, they often saw handsome purebred horses on the property, grooms exercising the horses, trim and well-maintained horse-drawn carriages pulled by pairs of horses, and guests arriving in BMWs.

A man who ran a business nearby said at the aquatic breeding farm hired six or seven 20 year old grooms to train the horses. These grooms came to his store everyday to buy things, and he heard from them that the horses were very expensive, of excellent pedigree, worth from 100,000 yuan to as much as 1 million yuan. They said that on the aquatic breeding farm there were 40 purebred horses of all types. Now, for close to these to a month, these locals had not seen the horses brought out to exercise at all. They guessed it was because of the “Liu Xiquan incident” that was running in all the newspapers.
http://www.moj.gov.cn/Discipline_Inspection/content/2012-10/10/content_3890506.htm?node=39178

2012-10-10
Chaoyang Deputy District Head Liu was sentenced in court today for accepting 1,860,000 yuan in bribes, and for expropriating individual’s property worth 100,000 yuan. It is reported that Liu admitted his guilt and that his attitude is very good, but the court has not accepted the assertion put forward by his defense, that Liu took the initiative to come forward and turn himself in.

Liu Xiquan is 56 years old. A number of his subordinates have already undergone trials and been sentence on corruption charges. The Chaoyang Agriculture Committeee Deputy Director Dong Jinting received 9 years, Agriculture Working Committee Secretary Wang Baojun received 10 years.

The case against Liu Xiquan came into the open because of a protest from Jinzhan town residents whose homes were demolished but did not receive any compensation. The Chaoyang District Agriculture Commission began an investigation, and discovered a slush fund, maintained by the three defendants mentioned above.

The accusation against Liu Xiquan mentions 6 incidents of taking bribes, three involving the slush fund. 1) He spent 52,900 yuan on camera equipment (8,500 dollars) using money diverted from the Commission, 2) before going abroad on a fact-finding trip, he acquired a a Bank of Beijing International credit card and spent 300,000 yuan (48,000 dollars) of Commission money, 3) before National Day in 2010, he took 500,000 yuan (80,5000 dollars) from the fund.

Father and son

Liu Xiquan’s son Liu Wei was also accused of fraud and taking bribes. In 2009 Liu Xiquan used his official position to have a car dealer in Jinzhan town pay off the remainder of the price of a BMW X5. He told the dealer, “my son wants the car, but he only has 500,000 yuan. If you give it to him now, he’ll pay off the rest later.Just do as you see fit.” The dealer understood the final phrase to mean that he, the dealer, should absorb the rest of the amount, and so, accordingly, he put up the remaining 410,000 yuan, and took the loss. When Liu Xiquan realized he was the subject of an ongoing investigation, Liu Wei went to see the dealer and said, “if anyone asks, say that you covered 200,000 yuan of the price of the car, with the understanding that I would pay you back later.”

Liu Xiquan admits to all the charges brought by the investigation, but he also states that he came forward and turned himself in. His defense counsel argued that Liu and his family have already given up all of their ill-gotten gains. The defense further argued that Liu did not abuse his authority by getting other people to obtain illegal funds for him. Therefore his crime is not that severe, and the defense asked the court to be lenient.

However the court believes that during the period when Liu Xiquan was arrested and then in detention, he did not take the initiative to explain his illegal acts, therefore the court is unable to confirm Liu’s claim that he “turned himself in.” After review, the court determined that Liu could not be said to have turned himself in.

After deliberation, the court determined that Liu Xiquan had used his position as a government member to extort money from others. He accepted bribes, amounting to an exorbitant amount of money, and according to the law deserved severe punishment. But because he had made a deposition detailing all his offenses, had admitted his guilt, has a good attitude, and because his family members have given back all the illicit money, it is fit to be lenient.

Therefore, in the end the court sentenced him to 13 years, and confiscated his property, to the extent of 100,000 yuan. At present, the court has not yet pronounced its judgement on Liu Wei. (reporter Yang Changping).

http://epaper.jinghua.cn/html/2015-05/15/content_198314.htm

2015-05-15

After the court gave its verdict, Liu Xiquan did not accept it. He appealed. The Beijing City High Court on 2012- 11-16 rejected his appeal, and affirmed the original judgement. Liu Xiquan is currently in the Ministry of Justice Yancheng prison serving his sentence.

2015-04-20, prison authorities sent to the court a proposal for a reduction of Liu Xiquan’s sentence. According to prison authorities, the criminal Liu has, while serving his sentence, received citations of praise six times. They state he has shown true repentence. According to the subsequent investigation by the court, Liu has been able to admit guilt and show remorse, he has taken seriously and strictly observed the prison rules. He has undergone re-education, and participated energetically in thought, culture, and technology studies. He completes his assigned work on schedule.

Taking into consideration his praise citations as well, the court considers him eligible for a reduction of sentence, and accordingly has reduced his sentence by one year.

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