Tax Resistance in China in the Mid-1980s

The Foreign Broadcast Information Service was a Central Intelligence Agency project that kept an eye on foreign news sources and disseminated reports on what it discovered via the Joint Publications Research Service. Thanks to them, we have this translated excerpt from Zhongguo Fazhibao (China Legal News), a Beijing-based newspaper from , of an article that appeared in its edition:

Tax Resistance Must be Dealth With Severely

For some time now, criminal elements in certain areas have openly refused to pay taxes, physically attacking tax organs and beating up tax cadres. Take, for instance, the events in the afternoon on .

A bunch of peddlers from outside Jiangsu had set up shop in Nanhu Yuejin Village in Jianye District, Nanjing. They shipped to the village a large amount of plastic products for sale, without, however, registering with the tax agency or paying taxes. The Jianye District branch of the tax department successively sent out 22 tax cadres to collect taxes. The peddlers gathered together over 300 men and encircled and attacked the tax cadres with wooden sticks, shoulder poles, bricks, arid rocks. Six bicycles were totally wrecked and 14 cadres were beaten up. Only a little after were the tax cadres able to get away protected by public security personnel.

Other reports show that Fujian Province alone had 88 incidents in in which 104 tax cadres were beaten up, including one who was killed on the spot. From , 56 tax cadres were injured in 120 attacks on tax personnel in Liaoning Province. In Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, tax departments were attacked and tax personnel beaten up in 367 separate incidents just last year alone. One hundred people were seriously injured and the region suffered an annual loss of 150 million yuan in uncollected revenues. The case reported in this paper today, which occurred in Linyi County, Shanxi, is a typical example.

Apart from the fact that profit-driven criminal elements disregard the law of the land and try to evade taxes through violence and intimidation, the longstanding inattention of the agencies concerned to this kind of crime and their failure to deal with it sternly and crack down on it are also a major reason why attacks on tax organs and tax personnel happen all the time.