China’s northeast industrial province of Liaoning falsified its fiscal data over a period of four years, local officials have said, adding to concerns over the validity of China’s economic statistics.
From 2011 to 2014, fiscal revenues for Liaoning were massaged up by at least 20%, said provincial governor and Deputy Communist Party Secretary of Liaoning Province, Chen Qiufa, Bloomberg reports, citing the state-run People’s Daily (link in Chinese).
Over-egging the growth figures and other acts of fraud were, according to Chen, committed by both city and county government officials in the Liaoning region who wanted to advance their careers. The fabricated figures impacted the central government’s assessment of the economic status of Liaoning, Chen said, citing a 2016 report from the country’s National Audit Office. The Financial Times reported that the false data led to residents paying $146 each in additional taxes, according to the state-run China Daily.
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The revelation comes just days before China is scheduled to post its full-year national growth report and at a time when officials have stressed the need for more scrupulous economic reporting. According to Bloomberg, the head of China’s National Bureau of Statistics, Ning Jizhe, has urged the country to increase the quality of its statistics and to crack down on fraudulent economic data.
More than 500 deputies accused of vote-buying and bribery have reportedly been purged from Liaoning’s legislature. Last year, Wang Min, former provincial Communist party chief from 2009 to 2015, was expelled from the party in a corruption crackdown.