American Leo Cao’s parents were among the dozens killed in a bullet train crash near the city of Wenzhou in 2011.
Cao’s older brother Henry, now disabled, was injured in the crash along with nearly 200 others.
Speaking to the press from Shanghai, Cao vented his anger against the corrupt system he blames for the destruction of his family.
“Corruption killed my parents – the rapid expansion (of the railway network) and the ‘business as usual’ system in China where bribes are a way to conduct business,” Cao told the news agency AFP.
Cao takes little solace in the downfall of former railway minister Liu Zhijun, who was expelled from the Party earlier this year amid allegations of large-scale graft.
“I have no personal qualms with [Liu],” Cao said. “It’s the system. The signal system went into operation without testing and that only happens when bribes are paid.”
Officials determined that “serious design flaws” in the signal control system used at Wenzhou South Railway Station were behind the crash.
The equipment was designed by state-run Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signals and Communication. The president of the research institute’s parent company reportedly died of a heart attack shortly after meeting with railway investigators about the crash.
A colleague of the fallen president said, “The pressure was too great [for him]. As was the responsibility.”
Benjamin Kessler is a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog and managing editor of its membership area.