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Photos of the Day: China’s Executioners

Following the execution of Zheng Xiaoyu, the former director of China's state Food and Drug Administration, the Times reports today on Zheng's transgression, and it wasn't just exporting shoddy seafood: In his confession, Mr. Zheng acknowledged that during his eight-year … Read More

By / July 13, 2007

Following the execution of Zheng Xiaoyu, the former director of China's state Food and Drug Administration, the Times reports today on Zheng's transgression, and it wasn't just exporting shoddy seafood:

In his confession, Mr. Zheng acknowledged that during his eight-year tenure, he had accepted gifts and bribes from eight drug companies that sought special favors: a car, a villa, furniture, cash. And corporate stock. All told, he and his family accepted gifts valued at more than $850,000 — in a country where the average worker earns less than $2,000 a year.

For his crimes, the 62-year-old was executed on Tuesday, making him one of the highest-ranking Chinese officials ever to be put to death.

But his real crime was worse than getting rich off brides: while acting as chief of the organization that approved new drugs, many unsafe medications made there way into pharmacies. These included Xinfu, an antibiotic that left young Du Haipeng, below, with cerebellar atrophy. Xinfu caused the death of 14 people and injured many more.

Haipeng underwent 22 days of emergency treatments. "When he woke up from the coma he didn't recognize us," said his mother, Fu Liguang. Today, Haipeng rarely speaks and doctors say he may never recover.

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