Zheng Xiaoyu, the prominent Chinese official executed for bribery this week, offered a written apology from prison back in March in an effort to receive a more lenient punishment. It was entitled "How I Look on My Mistakes."
I started to reflect on myself seriously and painstakingly. Thinking back on what has happened these year [sic], I start to see the problems clearly. For example, why are the friends who gave me money all bosses of pharmaceutical companies? Obviously, because I was in charge of drug administration. Another example, I’ve known these old friends for a long time, why did they give me money only after 1998? Obviously, because the State Drug Administration was established in 1998 and then I was given bigger power. Although these friends gave me money partly because of our friendship, they actually were thinking about my power. I am confessing here that I loosened self-discipline, ignored the bottom line. It is bribery if a civil servant receives money from a business.
Sound familiar? If only our elected officials were so self-reflective...