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Can Pursuing Debtors Who Refuse to Pay Be Seen as Instigating Conflict?
Can Pursuing Debtors Who Refuse to Pay Be Seen as Instigating Conflict?

Can Pursuing Debtors Who Refuse to Pay Be Seen as Instigating Conflict?

provoking trouble

The authorities in Guizhou’s province have established a specialized investigative group to examine the situation of a businesswoman who, along with her legal team, was arrested and charged for “inciting unrest”.

Inciting conflicts and causing disturbances.

The woman’s company was trying to collect payment from the local government for work they had done, and this action was seen as unreasonable.

shou’er’eyou” (meaning “handyman”) phenomenon

The situation has sparked widespread criticism on Chinese social media and has brought attention to various complex political and financial problems such as corruption within local governments, excessive debt levels, reckless infrastructure expenditures, and the rise of the “handyman” or informal labor phenomenon.criminalization of creditors

Unfair tactics such as leveraging government power to intimidate valid lenders, typically by accusing them of unethical practices. The condemnable act of instigating confrontations and causing disturbances.

The story first came to the attention of the public through an investigative piece published on WeChat by the Beijing-based China Business Journal. That article is no longer visible on WeChat, and searching for it on WeChat yields the message: “This content has been deleted by the publisher.” It has also been deleted from the NetEase News platform. CDT Chinese editors have

Reuploaded the complete version of the original article from Chinese and published it again..

5 Things

The 5 Things from The Wall Street Journal.

Chun Han Wong gave information about the situation, its consequences, and the public outcry it caused.:


The issue arose when a government-affiliated newspaper released an article revealing that Ma Yijiayi, a contractor for construction projects, had been engaged in a lengthy legal dispute with officials in the Shuicheng district of Guizhou province. However, in late 2019, local authorities arrested Ma and her lawyers for supposedly causing a disturbance in public.

Private business owners, attorneys, and government media sources have all shared their opinions, expressing doubts that district officials were using legal action as a means to protect themselves from debtors and ease financial burdens.

In the past few years, Ma’s construction company has obtained court orders to retrieve owed payments, but has also been faced with lawsuits over outstanding payments to suppliers, as reported in documents from The Wall Street Journal.

In November, officials from Shuicheng proposed giving Ma a one-time payment of 12 million yuan to resolve the conflict. However, Ma declined and as a result, she, along with her legal team, were detained by local authorities. This occurred despite her still being owed approximately 220 million yuan for the project, as reported by China Business Journal.

Some individuals on social media, as well as commentators from state-run media, expressed doubt in the statement and urged authorities in Shuicheng to be more open and transparent.

“Is there an effort to ‘use criminal punishment to resolve debt?’ Are there hidden secrets behind the scenes?” said Top News Express, a social-media platform affiliated with China News Service, a state-run news agency. “The authorities must provide a more detailed explanation.” [Source]

Writing for the South China Morning Post,

Mia Nulimaimaiti discussed how the situation of Ma Yijiayi serves as a representation of the underlying issue of debt in local governments.

The potential dangers it presents to the overall financial well-being of China:

Experts suggest that Ma’s experience effectively demonstrates how the national government is facing a difficult task in addressing the seemingly overwhelming amount of debt that has accumulated among local governments – currently totaling 40.7 trillion yuan, with the possibility of additional undisclosed debt through financing vehicles, state-owned enterprises, and other entities.

According to an article published on Wednesday in Caixin, a finance and business magazine, Wang Mingyuan, a researcher from the Beijing Reform and Development Commission, stated that the recent incident in Guizhou is not just isolated, but also reflects a larger issue of financial and economic struggles in China’s central and western regions.

unable to reword]Source]

CDT editors have archived a number of articles related to Ma’s case and the retaliatory tactics taken against her and her lawyers by the Liupanshui and Shuicheng local governments. In addition to the original China Business Journal report that was taken offline, an article titled “

Local governments and entrepreneurs, burdened by indebtedness, are at odds with each other.” by Ma Jiangbo

The Southern Weekly’s ex-senior editor, who wrote about state-owned companies in Guangzhou subcontracting projects to private firms, was removed from Sina Finance. The piece discussed the common practice of these companies taking a portion of the profits.

Those who are perceptive are aware that there are often suspicious dealings happening discreetly during the implementation of these extensively funded infrastructure projects by local governments.

In certain cases, a general contractor may receive a profit of 10 to 20 percent by simply assigning the project to someone else without actively participating in it.


Lenders can also benefit from these transactions, typically earning four to five percent of the project’s value. However, some may receive even higher percentages.


During the course of this process, local authorities achieved remarkable milestones in development, influential individuals profited from under-the-table deals, and local business owners capitalized on the situation.

Prior to this, there had been an abundance of resources being provided. However, suddenly these resources were cut off and the once extravagant spread became nothing at all.

As a result, it is unavoidable that there will be increasing conflicts between local governments and business owners, both of whom are burdened with significant amounts of debt.[Chinese]

A WeChat article by Wang QingfengWhat

The person behind the blog discussing economic and social matters asked, “What?

Who Will Cover the Costs of the Alleged Myth of Guizhou? REWord

The writer detailed how Guizhou transformed from a impoverished region to a province with thriving GDP growth, ambitious infrastructure developments, a network of newly built expressways, and tourism campaigns highlighting the renowned and expensive Maotai brand sorghum whiskey. However, this narrative of success has also led to Guizhou accumulating concerning levels of debt. Wang also touches upon the influence of Li Zaiyong, former Party chief of Guiyang, in this transformation.

Pushing the city of Liupanshui to the verge of financial ruin. ound chief ”

Li Zaiyong, who served as party chief in Liupanshui from 2013 to 2017, was found to have overspent excessively during his tenure. (Note: I am not sure what is meant by “found chief” so I have left it out of the rewording.)

Examined and removed from his political and governmental roles. .)


Due to excessive amounts of investment and debt, the economy of Guizhou is undergoing a period of readjustment. Beginning in 2022, the region’s annual GDP growth rate has fallen behind the national average for two consecutive years.

Future revenue must cover previous expenditures. It is evident that the amount of investment spending in Guizhou has surpassed what is required for the growth of the actual economy.

In addition, it was announced that 16 out of 23 tourist developments that were started under Li Zaiyong’s leadership as party secretary of Liupanshui are currently inactive. While the physical structures of reinforced concrete and extensive construction are tangible, the burden of debt and focus on GDP are also very real. The previous accumulation of debts cannot be sustained by potential future income streams.

Guizhou’s impressive figures are a result of overly ambitious and potentially unproductive investment in infrastructure.[Chinese]

Shi Tao wrote:”

Shi Tao, an economics and finance journalist, posted on his WeChat blog:”Wang Mingyuan identified

Three concerns that the Guizhou investigators must attend to in order to regain trust among privately owned companies and the public.:

Was there a misuse of judicial authority involved?

Additionally, the property rights of privately owned businesses were disregarded.

Thirdly, there is a disparity between state-owned enterprises and private enterprises.

We are currently at a crucial point in legislative matters regarding the private sector, and in rebuilding trust with private businesses. It is important for Guizhou to effectively address the public’s concerns and uncertainties related to three specific questions. The outcome of this issue will not only impact Guizhou’s reputation as a business hub, but also have broader implications on future laws and policies aimed at fostering the private economy. We must ensure that this particular case does not harm the integrity of our laws or the government as a whole. [Chinese]

Finally, a written piece on WeChat by a blogger who covers current events.Xiang DongliangMa Yijiayi irrefutably recognized that Zhou Xiaoyun persevered

Ma Yijiayi wisely chose to keep the determined and fearless lawyer, Zhou Xiaoyun, on her side in the fight. It is clear that Ma Yijiayi highly valued Zhou Xiaoyun’s persistence and determination.

Hello Liupanshui, A Bold Lawyer Who Does Not Fear Arrest Has Arrived

Xiang Donliang poses several thought-provoking inquiries regarding the case.

When assessing an attorney, you may take into account their expertise and also consider their charging rates. However, when did the primary factors for selecting a lawyer shift to “Are they apprehensive about potential legal action?” or “Do they possess the courage to handle my case?”

How is it justifiable to accuse an entrepreneur of a crime for requesting payment from the government according to the terms of a signed contract? Is she at fault for “causing unrest” or “disregarding the delicate positions of certain officials?”

Why is it necessary for you, as a defense attorney representing a defendant, to face the possibility of being detained or jailed? What is the depth of the water in the small town of Liupanshui?

Now that Guizhou province has set up an investigative team led by the provincial procuratorate, and a lawyer who is not afraid of being arrested has come to Liupanshui, let’s see how this ends. [Chinese]