Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"Deterrence" in China

Some claim that capital punishment serves as a deterrent to crime, and others (particularly those opposed to capital punishment) believe that it does not. But a recent execution in China brings those arguments in stark relief.

Zheng Xiauyo was the head of the State Food and Drug Administration in China, and he was convicted of approving certain drugs and medicines in exchange for $850,000 in bribes. Zheng's actions were blamed for 10 deaths, and as an spokeswoman said, he brought 'shame' on the agency.

Zheng was undoubtedly a victim of a series of unfortunate recent events, including Chinese-produced but tainted dog food and toothpaste; less than two months passed from the date of his sentence to his execution.

But for high-level bureaucrats in China, it's clear that a message is being sent: don't put Chinese exports -- the engine of growth for the Chinese economy -- at risk.

No comments: