Sunday, May 4, 2014

China: From Fake Apple Stores, Gucci, Luis Vuitton To Fake Government

A guard holds a flag outside the (non-counterfeit) Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Getty Images
 China has seen its share of counterfeits, from fake Apple stores to fake reporters to fake Gucci. Now add fake government to that list.

State media recently reported that a “People’s Government of Dengzhou” set up in central Henan province was toppled after it was found, in fact, to be a fraud.

According to reports, the government was set up late last year by three residents who had gone so far as to counterfeit fake government seals and issue papers in the bogus government’s name. They also tried to build up their own “civil service,” sending out recruitment ads that attracted more than 10 applicants before the real government shut it down.

Apparently the trio wanted to independently annul their existing government on the basis of its “nonperformance.” They located the headquarters of their faux government adjacent to the real one.

This isn’t the first time Dengzhou has made headlines for unusual political news. Four years ago, government mouthpiece China Daily wrote a story about the city titled “Democracy takes root in rural areas.” It chronicled Dengzhou’s measures to involve more residents in the vetting of proposals relating to villages in the region, in what the publication called an “innovative experiment” that was also hailed at the time by then-Vice President Xi Jinping.

No one, evidently, thought the farmers would get quite so innovative.

In the end, the would-be bureaucrats were outed after they served a property developer a suspension notice and tried to levy penalties for illegal construction in the area. The developer got suspicious, and the trio were rounded up. They have been charged with the forging of government documents. Attempts to reach them for comment weren’t successful.

Posted originally as Fake Government Busted in China by Te-Ping Chen, WSJ

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