How Corruption Is Eating Away At Beijing's Power

Even in a country known for rampant corruption, the Xiamen smuggling case gripping China is a stunner. Over the past few years, some $10 billion worth of oil, cars, telecom equipment, and cigarettes has passed illegally through the Fujian port across from Taiwan. China's biggest-ever bust has spread from customs men to top officers in the People's Liberation Army. Now, with the possible involvement of Jia Qinglin, Beijing's Communist Party Secretary and a close associate of President Jiang Zemin, the scandal threatens to undermine the authority of Jiang and his reforms.

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