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Calligraphy used to hide bribes

Updated: 2014-12-02 21:21
By Zhang Yi (chinadaily.com.cn)

Jiangsu province's top anti-graft authority has determined that a calligraphy "masterpiece" that sold for 50,000 yuan ($8,130) was nothing more than an elaborate bribe, the authority said on Tuesday.

According to the authority, Jiang Guoxing, 59, deputy head of press and publication bureau in the province, had sold the four "scribbled" characters to a businessman in 2007 for 50,000 yuan and that the painting was worthless.

Jiang was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison in Sept and his personal property of 400,000 yuan was confiscated.

Jiang reported accepted 1.85 million yuan (300,000) in bribes and misused his power. Some of the bribes he took were disguised as payments for his calligraphy. Jiang denied the bribes, defending them as reasonable deals between himself and a businessman.

When the province's anti-corruption watchdog investigated the collusion between real estate developers and Jiang, the authority found that developers paid 100,000 yuan for Jiang's handwriting.

In 2007, Jiang, then the Party chief of Huining county, accepted 50,000 yuan from a developer for four characters he wrote for a residential compound built by the developer.

In 2012, Jiang "invited" his friend, another real estate developer in the county,to an auction where two of his "pieces" were listed for sale. After a "bidding process", Jiang's two pieces of handwriting were purchased by the developer for 50,000 yuan.

Jiang was also found using his clout to join several associations including the Chinese Painting and Calligraphy Association and the Calligraphy Research Institute in the province, in an attempt to legitimize his calligraphy works.

Sun Jianguo, head of the legal and political affairs commission in Changzhou, Jiangsu province was also sentenced in Sept for a similar situation. Sun took bribes of more than 830,000 yuan. Sun defended himself in the trial saying that 520,000 yuan of the money was from sales of his handwritings and paintings to local businessmen. The court found that his works were worth less than a tenth of what he claimed and regarded the money as bribes.


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