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China's ex-rail minister got what he deserved: death sentence
Liu Zhijun was the Railway Minister of China in the closing years of the last century. He was brutally efficient and is credited with making the obsolete railroad system of China one of the best in Europe and Asia.

His penchant for high speed trains inspired him to run Bullet like trains at a much higher speed than the Bullet trains of Japan. By the way, Japan is known as the most advanced Asiatic country and the Asian youth flock to the train terminus in Tokyo just to have a close view of the Bullet trains.

The Communist Party of China that runs the government in Beijing entrusted Zhijun with the task of modernizing all major trunk routes, laying fresh tracks that can take on very high speed trains, making purchases of matching electrical equipment and appropriate fitments. The railway minister was authorized to draw the appropriate amount of money from the national exchequer to implement the decision made by the Communist Party for modernization of the railroad system and the speed should be the hallmark, second to none.

It was a matter of pride to run the route and brought in additional prestige to the railway minister and his ministry. Lo and behold! The fastest Bullet on the national capital route crashed and that entailed hundreds of casualties. Pride goes before a fall.

Money in abundance dazzled the railway minister. Love of lucre made him greedy and he started pocketing some, spending some and buying expensive jewellery for his mistresses who lived all over China. There was bungling in making purchases. Some subordinates made purchases of sub-standard goods that when fitted to the rolling stock or the coaches caused more crashes that caused casualties. The word of mouth anti-publicity of Zhijun made him the fall guy. Still there were some loyalists who stood by him.

The pretty women in different towns slept with him whenever he was around. However, they kept a contingency plan of action, just in case the Communist Party came down heavily on the Neo Rasputin of new China. All students of history and Statecraft knew that the powerful men always enjoyed the company of more women than one. Emperors of China had many queens and also enjoyed the company of concubines. The high officials of the Communist Party of China were the new courtiers who emulated the habits and manners of Emperors of age gone by.

Zhijun was just one of the neo-tribes who had run into trouble rather early in life. Of course, the forbidden city of the royalty and the conspiring concubines was open to prying eyes of the common folks who carried tales. Zhijun was the butt of sexy jokes for some time and then his reputation collapsed. He lost the protection provided by high colleagues and was reduced to the status of a commoner. ‘Lao bai sying’ is the word for those who are neither glitterati nor literati. Now Zhijun was just that.

Ill gotten ill spent

The tally of his acquisitions is rather interesting. One might be wondering where the railway minister spent the ill gotten wealth. Let us see. He consorted with eighteen mistresses. He possessed 250 flats of different dimensions in various places. The accommodation was fully furnished and the kitchen kept functional. Money was no consideration. He possessed sixteen cars of different makes, counted as luxury cars.

A Beijing court of law that tried Zhijun found that the charges of corruption stood proved. In view of the fact that many Chinese citizens were killed in train crashes caused by faulty parts bought by him, the Court pronounced him guilty of murder. Zhijun was sentenced to be hanged till death. However, considering his past services to the Communist Party and the country the sentence of death was kept suspended for two years.

The Court ordered the government to seize all ill gotten wealth - both moveable and immovable, cash and kind. He was stripped of his right to vote as a citizen of the People’s Republic of China. Thus came to an ignoble end the story of an efficient party cadre reminding one and all what to do and what not to do.

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