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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Friday, March 19, 2004

"Bankruptcy King" Cao Siyuan Flees China?


Cao Siyuan courtesy of Asia Week Two Australian Newspapers are carrying this story that Cao Siyuan has fled China. Details are sketchy but it is known that Cao was in the U.S. to attend a seminar entitled "Amending China's Constitution: From Dictatorship to Peaceful Democratization" which took place on February 24, 2004, at The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) in Washington, DC.

Cao Siyuan is one of the more radical advocates of political reform in China and he runs a consultancy in Beijing offering advice on bankruptcy and mergers.

Cao enjoys a considerable stature in China, since he helped to draft the country's bankruptcy law in the 1980s when he got the nickname "Bankruptcy King"

Zhao addressing students in Tiananmen Square flanked by today's premier Wen JiabaoCao Siyuan was a senior adviser to Party Secretary General Zhao Ziyang and was arrested in 1989 for his role in proposing a legal challenge to the declaration of Martial Law in Beijing after Tiananmen Square massacre. He was released in 1990. Interestingly current premier Wen Jia Bao worked at the time for Zhao Ziang but was able to survive politically despite the fall of his boss over the internal party upheaval as to how to handle the Students of Tiananmen Square.

A copy of one of his papers can be found at The Future of Chinese Political Reform
which I believe was delivered at the University of California LA

According to the Australian news report Cao had been under close scrutiny by security forces in the lead up to the National People's Congress. The report does not say when he left China only that he had a "one way" ticket.

If this report is true it could be a huge slap in the face to the Chinese Communist Party so close to the NPC approving the two constitutional amendments relating to private ownership of property and Human Rights. Both topics having been mainstays of Cao's activism over the last several years.