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Cablegate: In Scandal's Shadow, Henan Officials

VZCZCXRO7971
PP RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #5797/01 2472310
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 042310Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1515
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAEPA/HQ EPA WASHDC
RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 005797

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

EAP/PD FOR NIDA EMMONS
HHS FOR OGHA/STEIGER AND PASS TO FDA/LUMPKIN
USDA FOR FSIS/RAYMOND
USDA FOR FAS OA/YOST, OCRA/ALEXANDER, OSTA/BRANT
COMMERCE FOR ITA/HIJIKATA AND CINO
STATE PASS TRANSPORTATION FOR NHTSA ABRAHAM/KRATZKE
STATE PASS CONSUMER PRODUCTS SAFETY COMMISSION RICH
O'BRIEN/INTL PROGRAMS
STATE PASS USTR CHINA OFFICE/TIM WINELAND
STATE PASS OMB/INT'L AFFAIRS
STATE PASS HOMELAND SECURITY COUNCIL
STATE PASS IMPORT SAFETY WORKING GROUP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD TBIO PREL CH
SUBJECT: IN SCANDAL'S SHADOW, HENAN OFFICIALS
MOBILIZE FOR NATIONAL FOOD AND PRODUCT SAFETY DRIVE


T H I S I S A C O R R E C T E D C O P Y
THIS CABLE TAKES THE PLACE OF BEIJING 5791
AND CORRECTS LANGUAGE IN PARA. 3.


1. (SBU) Summary. Under the impetus of the General
Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection,
and Quarantine (AQSIQ) Party Secretary's recent
visit to Henan Province, local officials have
launched an interdepartmental working group to
address the challenges of local enforcement of
Beijing's directives on food safety. This is part
of a four-month nationwide campaign kicked off
August 23. However, as if to underscore the
difficulties China's leaders face in this regard,
the former Henan provincial official directly
responsible for enforcement of food and product
safety regulation was recently stripped of his NPC
credentials under suspicion of accepting bribes.
End Summary.

2. (SBU) Director General of Henan Province's
Foreign Affairs Office told visiting Econ M/C and
Econoff during an August 26-28 trip to Henan that
the province has recently launched a campaign to
address the food safety issue in response to
pressure from Beijing. He opined that the Province
had the means to cope with any deficiencies in
enforcement. Local officials have organized an
inter-departmental working group to mirror the
leading group set up in the State Council under
Vice-Premier Wu Yi. According to Henan officials,
this effort was in response to a visit paid to the
province by General Administration for Quality
Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ)
Party Secretary Li Chuanqing on August 24. Henan
officials note that at least one of the top three
officials of AQSIQ, including Party Secretary Li,
Minister Li Changjiang, and a third unspecified
official intends to visit every province in China to
drive home the message of the importance of this
issue. During his trip to Henan, AQSIQ Party
Secretary Li held meetings attended also by Henan

SIPDIS
Governor Li Chengyu to spread the word to provincial,
municipal and county-level officials. This national
campaign is set to run for four months, Henan
officials told us.

3. (SBU) As if to underscore the difficulty of
enforcing food and product safety regulations at the
local level, the Beijing Wanbao on August 31
reported that China's National People's Congress had
stripped former Director of Henan Province's
Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau (CIQ)
Bao Jianmin (CIQ is the provincial level equivalent
of AQSIQ) of his credentials for the 10th NPC Standing
Committee on the grounds that he was suspected of
taking bribes. Media accounts from Xinhua and
other sources dated August 4 report that the
provincial People's Congress was considering
recommending that Bao be removed from
the NPC Standing Committee as he was suspected of
receiving bribes and payoffs both during his tenure
as CIQ director and during his tenure in previous
posts. The amounts dating from 1997-2006 were
estimated to have been 483,000 RMB and 80,000 USD.
The article said Bao, in return, provided certain

BEIJING 00005797 002 OF 002


benefits to those who paid the bribes. Bao was
also reported to have accepted large additional
gifts and to have accumulated suspiciously large
personal wealth which was also the subject of
investigation. The media accounts also noted that
Henan CIQ Deputy Director Chen Xuesheng had been
convicted of accepting 240,000 RMB in bribes,
the standard sentence for which, if convicted,
is six years in prison.

4. (SBU) Comment. Henan FAO officials said the
recent visit of the AQSIQ Party Secretary had no
connection to the bribery case details of which they
say surfaced in the April/May time-frame. They note
that every province is receiving a similar visit.
Even if true, the case does indicate the daunting
problems China faces in ensuring local officials
implement Beijing's directives.

RANDT

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