[JURIST] Chinese authorities on Friday executed [Xinhua report] the former head of the company that owns the Beijing Capital International Airport, after he was convicted of bribery and embezzlement. Li Peiying, former chairman of the Capital Airports Holding Company [corporate website], was sentenced to death in February after being convicted of accepting bribes of 26.61 million yuan (USD $3.9 million) between 1995 and 2003 and embezzling 82.5 million yuan for personal use between 2000 and 2003. His death sentence was upheld last month by the Shandong Provincial Higher People's Court and was reviewed by the Supreme People's Court. Also this week, the Chinese government executed beauty parlor owner Du Yimin [Xinhua report] for defrauding investors out of 700 million yuan (USD $102.5 million), and Si Chaxian [AFP report], for defrauding investors out of 167 million yuan (USD $24 million).
Last month, anti-death-penalty group Hands Off Cain [advocacy website] said that although the number of countries with capital punishment, as well as the total number of executions was down in 2008 [report] from the previous year, China continues to account for more executions [JURIST report] than any other country. In 2008, the country executed at least 5,000 people, or more than 87 percent of the world's total. China said last month that it plans to reduce [China Daily report] the number of executions it conducts, reserving the death penalty for only a small number of severe crimes.