Corruption is ingrained in Chinese culture by the practice of giving gifts to show respect, and subverting rules and regulations through personal connections. High populations and lack of resources make bribing officials common; Lijia Zhang addresses Xi Jinping’s campaign.
Fighting corruption is essential to the credibility of the Chinese Communist Party; today’s deals are profitable for senior authorities. Kristie Lu Stout and Zhang discuss how citizens bribe officials to obtain better healthcare and education.
China’s institutions investigate and police themselves, lacking a system of checks and balances. Willy Lam asserts that the President’s campaign fails to prevent massive kickbacks. Lim feels he is consolidating power to preserve the Chinese Communist Party, and credits him with introducing judicial transparency.
Zhang and Lam discuss Jiang Jiemin, the first member of the current Communist Party Central Committee to be investigated. Security Chief Zhou Yongkang targets corruption within the oil industry. Most senior authorities do not face prosecution unless they anger or embarrass someone with more power.
Mistresses and social platforms are part of China’s anti-corruption campaign; sex scandals often involve public funds. Internet police arrest activists attempting to expose the most powerful. Lam suggests independent investigations be conducted to attain a better system of checks and balances.
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In China, they're called the "tigers and flies," the powerful leaders and lowly officials all targeted by China's corruption crackdown. Less than a year into his term, President Xi Jinping has made fighting graft one of his priorities, vowing to punish every corrupt official, and to make no exceptions. And under his leadership, Beijing has even made a point of addressing seemingly trivial excess, limiting banquets to "four courses and one soup" and banning the use of public funds to buy moon cakes. In this month's On China, we examine why corruption is prevalent at all levels of Chinese society, discuss the reasons behind Xi's anti-corruption campaign, and explore whether it's even possible to root out corruption in China and the Communist Party. Joining us at the table are Reuters' Beijing-based correspondent Benjamin Lim, China scholar Willy Lam, and author and social commentator Lijia Zhang.
Length: 24 minutes
Copyright date: ©2013
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