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中 청백리는 어떻게 부패해 갔는가(IHT, 기사)
홈 페 이 지 -
날         짜 2007년 7월 13일 12시 32분 58초   [금요일] 글번호 555
"中 청백리는 어떻게 부패해 갔는가"

International Harold Tribune/070712


중국 당국은 비리 혐의로 기소된 국가식품약품감독관리국 정샤오위(鄭소<木변없는 篠>萸) 전 국장에 대해 지난 10일 전격 사형을 집행했다.

중국 최고인민법원에서 형이 확정되자 마자 순식간에 형장의 이슬로 사라진 그는 과연 어떤 생을 살았으며 얼마나 큰 잘못을 저질렀던 것일까.

인터내셔널 해럴드 트리뷴(IHT)은 13일(한국시간) 어린 시절부터 의약품 관리당국의 수장으로서의 활동하며 비리 혐의로 생을 마감하기까지 그의 개인사를 상세히 소개했다.

신문에 따르면 그는 1944년 푸젠(福建)성의 자녀가 많은 가정에서 태어나 고모의 손에서 자라났다.

어릴적 부터 똑똑했던 그는 상하이(上海)의 명문 푸단(復旦)대에 입학해 생물학을 전공했으며 교내 밴드에서 클라리넷과 트럼펫을 연주하기도 했다.

항저우(杭州)에 있는 전국 최대의 국영 약품회사에 기술자로 사회에 첫발을 내디뎠던 그는 처음부터 능력을 인정 받아 공장장으로까지 승진했다.

당시의 동료들은 그를 일을 아주 열심히 했던 성실한 사람으로 기억하고 있다.

한 동료는 "컴퓨터가 귀했던 1980년대에 이미 제조와 관리체계 전산화를 위해 컴퓨터를 샀을 정도로 그는 혁신적이고 새로운 아이디어를 추구했다"고 회고했다.

1990년대 중반 국가 위생부(衛生部) 소관이던 식품약품감독관리국으로 자리를 옮긴 그는 소비자 보호를 위해 관리국을 독립시켜야 한다고 주장했고 이는 1998년에 받아들여졌다.

그는 관리 수장으로 8년을 일하며 중국을 의약품 제조분야를 선도하는 국가로 만들겠다는 포부로 의약품 관리제도 개혁을 추진했다. 또 피해자의 입장을 대변하며 가짜 약품과 무허가 공장에 대해 대대적인 단속을 벌였고 품질 인증제도도 도입했다.

그러나 그의 개혁은 뜻하지 않은 곳에서 암초를 만나게 됐다.

관리 당국의 기준을 맞추다 보니 제약사들의 제조원가가 크게 올라갔고 정부 당국이 치솟은 약값을 강력하게 규제하기에 이른 것.

이로 인해 턱없이 낮은 수익률로는 약을 개발할 수 없다는 제조사들의 불평이 터져나오기 시작한 가운데 일부는 원가가 낮은 다른 약을 바꿔치기하고 기존 약값을 유지하기 위해 용량을 줄이는 등의 부정한 방법을 동원하는 한편 고위 관료들에게 뇌물도 주기에 이르렀다.

본인 역시 제조사들의 주요 타깃이 돼야만 했던 정 국장은 시간이 지나면서 점차 제조사들의 유혹에 빠져들게 된다. 똑똑하지만 순진한 성격이었던 그가 자신도 모르는 사이 자신이 만든 시스템에 발목을 잡히고 말았던 셈이다.

법원 기록에 따르면 그는 1997년 6월부터 2006년 12월까지 국가 의약품 관리감독 책임자로서 8개 제약사의 청탁을 받고 의약품, 의료기기의 허가를 내주면서 모두 649만위안(약 7억8천만원)의 금품을 챙겼다. 그의 아내는 고급 빌라와 거액의 장식비를 받고 아들은 고급 외제차를 챙기는 등 가족들도 그의 뇌물 행각에 깊숙이 개입한 것으로 드러났다.

그밖에도 그의 보좌관이던 차오원좡(曺文莊)에 대해 뇌물 수수 등 비리 혐의로 사형이 선고되는 등 최소 8명의 관료들에 대한 비리가 드러나고 있다.

이 과정에서 검찰이 내부 고발자를 통해 심층 수사에 돌입함으로써 다른 간부들에 대한 비리 혐의도 추가로 드러날 가능성이 커 보인다.

그러나 업계에서는 정 전 국장이 희생된 것에 대해 동정하는 여론이 강하다고 신문은 전했다.

한 관계자는 "제약업계는 많은 의사와 병원들이 리베이트를 받는 등 부패와 부정이 만연돼 있어 관리 당국의 규제가 매우 어려운 곳"이라며 "그는 달콤한 유혹에 넘어갔을 뿐 좋은 사람이었는데 전국적인 식의약품 안전 문제로 인한 희생양이 됐다"고 말했다.

실제로 그도 법정에서 모든 혐의를 인정했으면서도 사형이 선고된 뒤 집행되기 전 감옥에서 "나의 잘못은 바로 내가 약품 감독국을 책임지고 있기 때문이 아닌가"라고 말해 자신의 억울함을 간접적으로 표시하기도 했다.

연합뉴스/070713

-------------------------

A Chinese reformer betrays his cause, and pays

By David Barboza

Thursday, July 12, 2007

BEIJING: Zheng Xiaoyu once ranked as one of the most powerful regulators in China. He rose from modest beginnings to help create and lead Beijing's version of the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.

But last March, locked up in the Qincheng Prison here, he wrote a short confession. "Why are the friends who gave me money all the bosses of pharmaceutical companies?" he wrote in his letter, entitled How I Look on My Mistakes. "Obviously because I was in charge of drug administration."

In his confession, 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.

The rise and fall of Zheng offers a rare glimpse inside China's flawed regulatory system. He started out as an idealistic reformer. Concerned about China's unsafe drug supply, he lobbied for the creation of the State Food and Drug Administration. But in the end, according to friends and associates, he was corrupted by the very system he sought to change — even enlisting his wife and son to solicit bribes.

"There were so many companies going to him and he simply couldn't resist the temptation," said one drug company executive who befriended Zheng in the 1980s and did not want to be identified discussing the delicate issue.

While China's tainted exports have attracted international attention, China's own citizens suffer most from the shortcomings of its drug regulators. Tens of thousands of crates of unsafe pharmaceuticals have reached the local market — from antibiotics to vaccines, from drugs to treat erectile dysfunction to ones to strengthen the immune system. The government does not know how many deaths and serious illnesses have resulted from faulty drugs.

Corruption is not the only problem, say industry insiders. Agencies battled over who had the authority to fine companies and who was responsible when things went wrong. The rapid growth of the drug industry has also made it hard for regulators and their staffs to keep up.

During Zheng's tenure, for instance, his agency approved over 150,000 applications for new drugs, an approval rate that dwarfs the FDA, which approves only about 140 new drugs each year.

And when regulators do discover counterfeit pharmaceutical operations, powerful local officials often seek to shield companies in their area from punishment.

As much as his own greed, all these larger problems stymied the intelligent but naïve Zheng. "He was smart in a technical way," says a drug company executive who knew him for more than 20 years. "But he didn't have political skills. He should have never gone into government."

Zheng Xiaoyu was born in coastal Fujian Province in 1944, when China was still being torn apart by war. He and several siblings were raised by an aunt, friends say. Zheng was bright enough to gain acceptance to the prestigious Fudan University in Shanghai, where he studied biology and played the trumpet in the school band.

After graduation, he got a job as a technician at the state-owned No. 1 pharmaceutical factory in nearby Hangzhou, where he eventually rose to become factory manager.

Colleagues remember him being passionate about his work. "He was innovative and liked new ideas," said one retired worker who knew Zheng well, but asked not to be identified. "In the 1980s, he even bought computers for the factory in an attempt to computerize manufacturing and management."

Later, in the mid-1990s, Zheng took a job in the country's pharmaceutical regulatory administration. There he pushed the government to create a separate body to regulate food and drug safety, one with more power to protect Chinese consumers.

In 1998, Beijing did. The amiable Zheng headed the state agency for the next eight years, pushing a modernization plan that was supposed to help transform China into one of the world's leading centers for pharmaceutical production.

To improve industry standards, the agency cracked down on fake drugs and illegal factories. Zheng would occasionally show up at the side of victims to grieve and declare his own fears about product safety.

He talked like a determined enforcer. "The crimes of making and selling fake drugs haven't been uprooted," he said in a speech in 2001. "And criminals and corrupt officials in the system should be severely punished according to the law."

One of his boldest reforms was an effort to push new production standards, giving companies a "good manufacturing practice" seal of approval. Zheng promised to use the standards to weed out irresponsible manufacturers. His agency declared that any pharmaceutical company that did not get GMP approval by July 2004 would lose its license.

"The intention of the GMP certification was good," says Yang Yue, a professor at the Shenyang Pharmaceutical University. "You don't know what horrible conditions some drug makers had been in. For example, in some traditional Chinese medicine companies, workers stirred the drugs with their feet."

The plan had its intended impact: the industry shrank from 6,700 drug makers to about 4,000.

But the agency's higher standards coincided with an effort by Beijing to curb soaring drug prices. Companies were caught between the mandatory government price cuts and the increased costs to upgrade equipment and retrain staff members to meet Zheng's modernization plan.

Companies complained that because of their shrinking profit margins, they did not have the money to develop new drugs. Some producers switched to drugs not covered by the government's price caps, or simply changed the dosage of existing drugs to maintain higher prices, exploiting a loophole in the pricing regulations. And companies bribed agency officials to get speedier drug approvals or other special favors.

Those officials included Zheng, according to court records. His wife, Naixue, and son, Hairong, eventually formed a consulting company in Shanghai that helped solicit bribes from companies.

Court records show that when a company named the Double Dove Group sought to register disposable syringes, it offered shares to Zheng's wife; his son received a used Audi, consulting fees and property in Shanghai.

When a Beijing drug maker needed approval to import more Madame Pearl's Cough Syrup from Hong Kong and to distribute a new intravenous drug, the company's chairman helped Zheng's wife pay for a villa and then went shopping with her for furniture. Decorating fees came to about $30,000.

The court offered detailed accounts of other bribes: secret payoffs at a Beijing hotel, checks handed to Zheng in his office; and instructions for Zheng's son to fly to Hong Kong, where he got over $120,000 that he later told prosecutors he put away for his parents' retirement.

At least eight other senior drug agency officials have been accused of taking bribes, according to court records and the state-controlled media. Zheng's top deputy, Hao Heping, the director of the medical devices division, accepted cash, expensive golf memberships and a Honda Accord.

Cao Wenzhuang, head of the drug registration division, accepted at least $300,000 in gifts and bribes. Both men also worked with their wives to solicit the money.

The court that handed down Zheng's death sentence said at least six drugs that had been approved by the State Food and Drug Administration during his tenure were fake. The agency's current leaders say hundreds of fake drugs are on the market at any given time — some approved, many not.

According to state-run media accounts, prosecutors began hearing from informants about corruption at the highest levels of the SFDA beginning in 2002, when a drug regulator who had worked with Zheng was sentenced to death for corruption. (That official received a reprieve and was never executed.)

Soon, several other agency officials came under scrutiny. One drug industry insider, who asked not to be named discussing government agency rivalries, said bureaucratic battles also worsened between Zheng's drug watchdog and the Ministry of Health, which had primary oversight over the drug market before Zheng's agency was formed. That fight, according to this official, could have led his rivals to inform on Zhang.

In June 2005, Zheng Xiaoyu quietly stepped down as director of the State Food and Drug Administration. Rumors spread that he was under investigation.

But Zheng's arrest did not come until a year later. In the meantime, he remained head of the China Pharmaceutical Association, even attending high-level government meetings, according to China Vitae, a Hong Kong Web site that tracks government officials.

About the same time, Zheng's wife and son, sometimes at his direction, began returning some of the gifts they had received from drug company executives, including the $30,000 dividend Hairong had been paid for his stake in the Double Dove property. Naixue returned some of her consulting fees.

After attending a December 2006 meeting of the Beijing Pharmaceutical Association, Zheng was questioned by the government's disciplinary agency, according to court documents.

Two months later, the State Council, China's highest governing body, held a special meeting to consider Zheng's crimes. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao attended. The council was told that Zheng had "neglected his duty to supervise the drug market, abused the administration's drug approval authority, took bribes and turned a blind eye to bad practices by relatives and subordinate officials."

Zheng was officially arrested in March. Soon after, the entire Zheng family was undergoing intense interrogation. All three members confessed to soliciting and accepting bribes.

"Some money wasn't given to me directly, but through Naixue and Hairong," Zheng wrote in his confession. "Naixue was retired and stayed at home. Hairong was just a student. So their target was still me. Indirect ways were easier for me to accept. So I agreed, consented. This was bribery."

Eventually, the court found him guilty of accepting bribes from eight drug companies, condemned him for dereliction of duty for failing to police the drug industry or his subordinates and creating regulatory schemes that allowed dangerous drugs to come to the market.

Industry officials say Zheng probably accepted many more bribes, but the government did not need evidence of any more to ask for the death penalty.

Many drug company officials still defend Zheng, arguing that he was a good man, undone by temptations that would have corrupted many people. They say that the industry was plagued by dishonesty that no regulator could have controlled; and that in a country where counterfeiting is rampant in all types of industries, where doctors and hospitals regularly accept kickbacks, that Zheng was made a scapegoat for national ills.

Zheng's lawyer pleaded for leniency, saying his client had cooperated with the authorities and, at times at least, had actually worked to improve the drug industry.

But on July 10, the state-run media issued a terse statement: "Zheng Xiaoyu, former director of China's State Food and Drug Administration, was executed Tuesday morning with the approval of the Supreme People's Court."

Whether Zheng's wife and son will be tried is not clear.

The day after his execution, the agency Zheng Xiaoyu had helped found said it was dismantling his drug approval system and putting in place new measures to bring transparency to the drug approval system. The agency also said it would start making unannounced visits to check on drug factory production.

Industry analysts say Beijing will have to do a great deal more to solve the country's food and drug safety problems "If the head of the drug agency is corrupt," said James Shen, a longtime industry analyst in Beijing and the publisher of Pharma China, "you can imagine how corrupt the whole system is."

--------------------------------

Zheng's confession


Thursday, July 12, 2007

After being arrested in March, Zheng Xiaoyu, 62, the former head of the State Food & Drug Administration, confessed that he had accepted over $850,000 in bribes from eight drug companies. Below, in a written confession, he admits to the crimes and asks for forgiveness from the Communist Party. His letter is also a plea for lenient punishment. Two months later, however, he was sentenced to death for corruption and dereliction of duty. His lawyer pleaded to have his sentence commuted to life in prison, which is common for government officials who receive the death sentence in China. But on June 22, the court rejected his plea. And on July 10, he was executed. Below is a translation of parts of his confession. The text was translated by Rujun Shen.

"How I Look on My Mistakes," By Zheng Xiaoyu

March 15 and 16, 2007

The Communist Party has criticized and educated me and told me about the policies. I started to reflect on myself seriously and painstakingly. Thinking back on what has happened these year, I start to see the problems clearly. For example, why are the friends who gave me money all bosses of pharmaceutical companies? Obviously, because I was in charge of drug administration. Another example, I've known these old friends for a long time, why did they give me money only after 1998? Obviously, because the State Drug Administration was established in 1998 and then I was given bigger power. Although these friends gave me money partly because of our friendship, they actually were thinking about my power. I am confessing here that I loosened self-discipline, ignored the bottom line. It is bribery if a civil servant receives money from a business.

Some money wasn't given to me directly, but through [my wife Liu] Naixue and [my son] Hairong. Naxiue was retired and stayed at home. Hairong was just a student. So their target was still me. Indirect ways were easier for me to accept. So I agreed, consented. This was bribery.

Once I accepted the money, the justice of power certainly became problematic, the image of the civil servant was undermined, and the image of the Party and government was affected.

The Party and people nurtured me, trusted me and assigned me to such an important position. I didn't live up to the Party's expectation. I loosened ideological reform, loosened self-discipline, harmed the Party and the people, committed crimes, for which I feel regretful. Now I have to treat the issue seriously, conduct a thorough self-examination, confess my mistakes, and treat the punishment and education as an act of saving my soul.

Inspired by the policy that honest confession should be rewarded lenient punishment, I have overcome all sorts of wrong excuses and honestly confessed to the Party the fact that I accepted bribes from [pharmaceutical executives] Ge Mengya, Wang Maoxing, Du Lihua, Zhao Buchang, Xu Rongxiang and Fan Minhua; that I knew that Zheng Jun, Yu Wenyong, Wang Xianyu had given bribes [to my wife and son]. I am willing to promise to the Party again that I will help retrieve every penny. If what has been retrieved doesn't match the amount [I accepted in bribes], I'll sell my own assets and borrow money from family and friends to make it up. I will also cooperate with the [Supreme People's] Procuratorate Court to clarify the problem, and strive for lenient punishment. I hope the Party will give me the opportunity and a way out.


-----------------------------

For 2 children, ban of a drug came too late
By David Barboza

Thursday, July 12, 2007

BEIJING: While visiting relatives a year ago, Du Haipeng, 5, came down with a sore throat. Doctors prescribed a Chinese antibiotic, Xinfu. The boy's reaction to the drug was so violent, he had to be taken to a nearby hospital.

"I remember clearly that I was shearing sheep when I got a call from my sister and her husband," said Du Xinglong, 36, Haipeng's father. "When I rushed to the hospital my son had already fallen into a coma."

A week later, regulators banned Xinfu. Authorities eventually determined that the State Food and Drug Administration had granted the drug's maker a seal of approval, even though Xinfu was not properly produced or sterilized.

The scandal was just one symptom of an ailing regulatory regime. Last year, the government uncovered 167,000 examples of illegal production and trade in medicine and medical equipment. In some cases, illegal factories are fined or closed; but their owners rarely face prosecution, and the problem persists.

Because of the public furor Xinfu set off, its producer, the Anhui Huayuan Worldbest Biology Company, was an exception. Several senior executives at the company were dismissed; its production license was revoked; and last November, according to state-run media, the company's general manager committed suicide.

That was too late for a 6-year-old named Liu Sichen. She had been given Xinfu for a tonsil infection. Soon she fell into a coma, and after several days she died.

"She was about to go to elementary school," said Sichen's mother, Guo Ping. "Her father bought her a new pink backpack."

In the end, at least 14 people died after taking Xinfu, and perhaps hundreds more were severely sickened. Du Haipeng woke from his coma after 22 days of emergency treatment. But he wasn't himself. "He didn't recognize us," said his mother, Fu Liguang, 38. "Over the next two and a half months, he didn't say a single word."

Today, the boy rarely speaks. He wets his pants, and his doctors say he may have permanent brain damage.

His father has no sympathy for Zheng Xiaoyu, the State Food and Drug Administration's former chief, executed on Tuesday.

"If he hadn't approved that company our family wouldn't be shattered," Du said. "He should have been killed a long time ago."


kdec/iht

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