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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

China Fights for Data

SHANGHAI, China -- China has declared war on a habit as old as communist rule: falsified statistics.

Officials as senior as Premier Zhu Rongji complain they lack reliable data to do their jobs because bureaucrats routinely lie about economic figures and other statistics to make themselves look better.

Some 8,000 major companies have been ordered to report their figures directly to Beijing in order to keep local officials from manipulating them, according to the state Xinhua News Agency.

Statistics are vital to a communist system that until recently depended entirely on the government to run farms and industry and deliver food, housing and medical care.