An investigative team from China’s National Bureau of Statistics that looked into China’s agricultural ministry’s statistics in August 2020 reported its results to Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Yu Kangzhen last week, according to Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy.
The discovery of falsification and fraud in rural statistics was made quietly after the communist party had already declared complete victory over rural poverty last year and celebrated a "faster than expected" recovery of the swine herd in 2020. Both achievements were declared on the basis of statistical indicators.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs was criticized for not fully implementing the communist party central committee’s pronouncements on statistical work and for failing to disseminate the regulations and opinions throughout its statistical bureaucracy.
The Statistics Bureau faulted the Ag Ministry for failing to put management systems in place for some statistical items, for erroneous statistical surveys, and lack of standardization in issuance of statistical data and reports. Accountability for fraud and falsification is not timely, quality control is not in place, grass roots statistical teams are weak, and development of information systems has been lagging.
Vice Minister of Agriculture Yu Kangzhen said the Ministry fully agreed with the Statistics Bureau’s critiques and pledged to implement the recommendations, including deeper study of Xi Jinping’s important directives on statistical work. Yu promised to raise the political position of statistical work and pledged to conduct a remediation.