In the intricate tapestry of China’s anti-corruption efforts within the medical field, a disconcerting tale unfolds, revealing the exploits of Wang Xingpeng, a figure who managed to elude the clutches of justice while monopolizing Shanghai’s billion-dollar medical infrastructure projects. As the nation grapples with the pervasive issue of corruption, it becomes evident that despite significant strides, there is still a considerable distance to cover.
Wang Xingpeng, born in March 1965, and holding the position of Director of the Development Center at Shanghai Shenkang Hospital, stands accused of leveraging his authority for personal gain since assuming the role in 2018. His modus operandi involved appointing a network of cronies to key positions, enabling him to exert control over numerous major medical and health infrastructure projects in Shanghai. These projects, ostensibly initiated for the betterment of the public’s well-being, became the means through which Wang accumulated vast wealth.
The audacity of Wang’s actions is underscored by his tenure as the Director of Shanghai First People’s Hospital in 2012. During this time, his protégé, Gu Xiangdong, ascended to oversee the infrastructure department, handling projects exceeding hundreds of millions in costs, including hospital extensions and equipment procurements. The web of influence expanded when Wang transitioned to the role of General Leader at Shenkang Hospital Center in 2018, orchestrating Gu’s transfer to a vice-director position at Shanghai Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, overseeing a substantial 2 billion RMB Jiading sub-hospital project.
The scale of Wang’s machinations becomes apparent when examining the subsequent three years of Shanghai’s new medical infrastructure projects. Ten projects, including the construction of hospitals in five new cities, spanning ten thousand square meters, incurred costs nearing 20 billion RMB. Insiders hint at Wang’s plans to manipulate government spending on scientific research building projects, with Gu Xiangdong positioned strategically at East China Hospital.
Wu Jinhua, another underling of Wang, was promoted to vice director of Shanghai First People’s Hospital in 2012, overseeing medical and health infrastructure and managing a 2 billion RMB extension project. In 2022, Wang facilitated Wu’s elevation to General Leader of Shanghai Chest Hospital, initiating a 2.5 billion RMB Tangzhen sub-hospital project in June 2023.
Further instances reveal a pattern of Wang’s subordinates being strategically placed to oversee major projects. In 2019, Yang Xinchao ascended to the role of General Leader at Shanghai First Maternal and Infant Health Hospital, overseeing a nearly 1 billion RMB Tumor and Science & Education Comprehensive Building project in 2020. Zhong Liwei, another protege, became the director of Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital in 2020, presiding over a 2 billion RMB sub-hospital project in Jiading.
The year 2023 saw Shen Bing, another underling, rise to the position of director at Shanghai 10th People’s Hospital, tasked with planning a 1.2 billion RMB hospital new building. The scope of Wang’s influence extends beyond individual projects, as revealed by the Shanghai ShenKang Hospital Development Center’s website, detailing the organization and implementation of 135 medical and health infrastructure projects, spanning nearly 8 million square meters and involving government spending totaling hundreds of billions of RMB.
Wang Xingpeng’s ability to exploit rules, system loopholes, and blind spots in supervision underscores the challenges faced by anti-corruption efforts in the medical field. His use of power, interest chains, and market economy rhetoric serves to whitewash violations of regulations, obscuring corruption and crime. The revelations surrounding Wang’s actions paint a bleak picture, indicating that the fight against corruption in China’s medical sector is far from over.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Greed is one of the deadliest diseases of mankind, it destroys a person’s soul.” As the saga of Wang Xingpeng unfolds, it serves as a stark reminder of the insidious nature of corruption and the imperative for authorities to delve into the deep end of the anti-corruption zone. While the road ahead may be long, the hope lies in the determination and capability of Shanghai’s municipal government to eradicate black sheep, eliminate corrupt officials, and sever the chains of corrupt interests, ensuring that escapees like Wang Xingpeng are brought to justice.