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Chinese Open New Front in Anti-Corruption Investigations

Tom Fox | October 22, 2015

The Chinese fight against bribery and corruption took an interesting twist earlier this month, when it was announced that the former head of the national oil company, Sinopec, was being investigated for bribery and corruption in the securing of contracts in Angola. If this investigation continues it could open a new and very different phase of China’s fight against corruption.

We have seen the Chinese prosecute Chinese officials for accepting bribes for business in China, under Chinese domestic law. We have seen the Chinese prosecute at least one western company for paying bribes in China (GlaxoSmithKline), once again under Chinese domestic law. We now are seeing an investigation for Chinese paying bribes outside of China to non-Chinese government officials, although which Chinese domestic law may be involved isn’t clear.

The investigation goes to the highest levels of Sinopec, involving the former chairman, Su Shulin. It involves payments of bribes to receive...

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