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Chinese province near North Korea found to be falsifying data

By
Elizabeth Shim
Jilin Province, an area that borders North Korea, has been found to be faking economic data, according to China’s anti-graft watchdog. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
Jilin Province, an area that borders North Korea, has been found to be faking economic data, according to China’s anti-graft watchdog. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

June 13 (UPI) -- Provinces in China have been found falsifying economic data, including Jilin, an area that borders North Korea.

China's anti-corruption monitor, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said Monday Inner Mongolia and Jilin have been augmenting financial data to yield high growth rates.

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In 2016, Inner Mongolia reported a growth rate of 7.2 percent, and Jilin claimed it grew 6.9 percent annually. Both reported numbers were higher than the national average of 6.7 percent last year, South China Morning Post reported.

Reports of cooked data in the remote provinces come several months after Liaoning Province, a key channel of trade between China and North Korea, was also found reporting "fraudulent economic figures," according to governor Chen Qiufa in January.

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Fiscal revenue for Liaoning was faked between 2011 and 2014, and "influenced the central government's economic judgment and accordingly led to a lowering of the size of transfer payments to the province."

In 2014, the falsification of Liaoning data hit a peak and local government was reporting inflated income by more than 20 percent, according to People's Daily.

Shen Jianguang, an economist at Mizuho Securities Asia in Hong Kong, said the lack of trustworthy reporting is a problem for key government functions, including determining unemployment or assessing the size of China's burgeoning service sector.

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"China's top decision makers hope to get reliable data so that they won't be misguided," Shen said.

The practice of faking data may not be limited to a few provinces.

According to the South China Morning Post, local officials inflate data on growth and industrial output for personal advancement, but underreport unemployment and work-related accidents.

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China announced in February it suspended North Korea coal imports, which often takes place across the border from Liaoning province.

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