China reaffirms determination to wipe out mafia gangsters, protectors
Published: Jul 18, 2022 11:11 PM
Police in Jinan, East China's Shandong Province, patrol a night market on July 5, 2022, as part of the Public Security Ministry's 100-day campaign to crack down on gang crimes. Photo: CFP

Police in Jinan, East China's Shandong Province, patrol a night market on July 5, 2022, as part of the Public Security Ministry's 100-day campaign to crack down on gang crimes. Photo: CFP

 China will wipe out all gang-related crime, reaffirmed the top prosecutor on Monday, saying that China has indicted 230,000 people who were engaged in mafia-like gangs and other crimes, and 2,987 people who acted as their protectors, in the three-year national crackdown on gang crimes from 2018 to 2021.

To meet Chinese people's higher demand for safety, China launched a national campaign to crack down on gang crimes from 2018 to 2021, especially severe violent crimes that jeopardized people's sense of security and those oppressing women and children, said the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) at a press conference on Monday.

According to the SPP, more than 8,580,000 criminal suspects have been arrested and 14,900,000 suspects were prosecuted from 2013 to the end of June in 2022. The number of people engaged in serious violent crimes and prosecuted by procuratorial organs dropped from 108,000 in 2013 to 59,000 in 2021.

The SPP listed the crushing of complex cases including the case of the mafia-like alliance head Sun Xiaoguo as examples to show its determination in the continuous and strict crackdown on Mafia-like gangs and evil forces. 

Sun was finally executed in 2020 for rape and intentional assault after repeated escapes from punishment since the 1990s. Murderer Du Shaoping was also executed in 2020, 16 years after he killed a boy and buried the body under a school sports ground in Central China's Hunan Province. Their protectors, government officials who helped them evade penalties and investigations for a long time, have all been punished as well.

The Ministry of Public Security said on Sunday that more than 72,000 suspects have been arrested since the start of a 100-day national campaign on June 25, which aimed at crushing illegal behavior of gangs and their protectors to protect women, children, elders and the disabled.

Local public security authorities have been supporting the 100-day campaign and 5,010 criminals have already been caught in Central China's Henan, while 693 suspects were arrested in Hebei.

Experts noted that despite the challenges and complexity of wiping out gang crime, the 100-day national campaign will definitely enhance the public's sense of security and improve the social security situation.

The campaign is part of the huge effort China has made with great determination in recent years to crack down on gang crimes, which are not easy, because some mafia-like groups have the support and protection of local officials, Wang Hongwei, a professor at the Renmin University of China's School of Public Administration and Policy, told the Global Times on Monday.

The campaign came after the brutal restaurant attack in Tangshan of North China's Hebei Province, which immediately triggered public outrage and concerns over social security. Tangshan authorities then launched special campaign against crimes across the city with a heavy punch and no mercy and encouraged residents to offer tip-offs in to crack down on illegal acts, showing determination to eradicate violence in the city.

Gang crime has in fact existed around the world for a very long time, but such attacks will only leave the public with greater shock and terror because the violent situation could be clearly and vividly presented to them through pictures and videos on the internet, Zhang Yiwu, a professor of Chinese literature at Peking University, told the Global Times on Monday.

Higher requirements on guaranteeing public security have been made in an era of self-media, which means the Chinese government needs to crush such crimes in a deeper and comprehensive way to further improve people's sense of security, Zhang pointed out.