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On July 10th, the former drug and food safety chief of China, Zheng Xiaoyu, was executed. The Supreme People’s Court agreed upon the death sentence after he was convicted of accepting bribes of around $850,000 from eight different companies and neglecting his duties.

Zheng, head of administration from 1998 to 2005, was sentenced on May 29 and his appeal was heard last month. Under rules introduced at the start of this year, the supreme court also reviews and can quash death sentences, a power previously in the hands of provincial-level high courts. But this time the supreme court spent little time endorsing the execution.

This execution was the first time a Chinese official of this rank has been executed since 2000. This unusually harsh sentence may be due to international criticism on Chinese exports. China is feeling pressure to strictly enforce drug and food regulations because of recalls and deaths from toxins in their foods, medicines, and other products.

Last week, other Chinese regulators were charged with accepting bribes and illegal gun possession. The punishments given ranged from a suspended death sentence to 15 years in jail.

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