Among them was mining industry billionaire Liu Han, his brother, and three partners.
Under a leveling socialist regime, it is impossible to gather a large fortune without having important accomplices in the top echelons of the hegemonic system.
The fact that economic inequalities are incompatible with socialism was the cause Marxist ideologues invoked to carry out the largest massacre in history.
However, the concrete needs of the world communist advance at times require the regime to show some tolerance toward private capital.
At this moment, China needs capital to attain its much longed-for world hegemony, which is indeed advancing by leaps and bounds.
But the regime also needs to make clear that it tolerates these inequalities only provisionally, since equality remains the ultimate goal of communist ideology.
So they need executions as “teaching” lessons, picking these new rich according to arbitrary criteria and levels of complicity.
The five convicts were accused of belonging to a mafia gang and ordering several assassinations. From this standpoint, they are no different at all from the biggest and bloodiest mafia extant in the country: the Chinese Communist Party.
But the equality lesson had to be given to all of China.
Over the last few months, also arrested were sixty-eight high-ranking members of the Communist Party, including the Mayor of Nanking, fifteen generals, and 72,000 lower level functionaries.
These arrests might be linked to internal party rivalries that preceded the rise of China’s new communist owner, president Xi Jinping, who went on to purge the CP from his competitors to the top post.
Xi said he would purge “tigers” and “flies,” meaning by “tigers” some top-ranking bureaucrats he demagogically accused of getting rich at the people’s expense.
The “flies” would be the small local chieftains who extort bribes from the people for any service: a job, a hospital bed, or a place in school for his child.
These “flies” are gradually being replaced by persons of confidence of the new dictator and, as far as all else goes, it is business as usual in Mao Zedong’s old quarters.
The president announced that the people are having their revenge and the anti-corruption campaign is doing better than ever. Woe to him who disagrees!
As in any socialist government, corruption in China is widespread and employed as a powerful tool to keep every government worker under control whether his hands are dirty or not.
Given China’s size, the corruption scheme setup by the regime involves “ever more colossal amounts or money and increasingly crapulous methods,” according to Zu Daizheng, a former minister and member of the Communist Party since 1937.
Zu has seen many other purges and the maintenance of the same corrupt system to subject the country to Beijing’s dictator in place.