China just executed its former chief of the State Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Xiaoyu. He was convicted of dereliction of duty and taking bribes to approve unsafe goods. Yes, he was corrupt and deserved to go to prison, but execution? The sentence was set on May 29 (2007) and he was executed just 42 days later.
The Chinese government is worried about their ability to export food and drugs, and they should be, given that they put antifreeze in toothpaste because it costs less than other, non-toxic sweeteners. Recently, they also exported snacks tainted with salmonella.
But seriously... do they really think swift executions are going to give them good press? Especially considering the West's already critical opinion of human rights in the PROC?