Thursday, March 26, 2009

China Not Serious about Corruption

... And it's going to hurt them. According to the AsiaTimes, they know it's a problem that could prove critical to the survival of the party:

Fully aware that fighting graft is a matter of life and death for the party and its rule, Chinese President Hu Jintao has repeatedly pledged to step up crackdowns. In recent years, more anti-graft bodies have been set up and more channels opened for the public to report suspected corruption cases. Fearful that the global financial crisis may spark public discontent, which could threaten social stability, at the NPC session, Premier Wen Jiabao, Cao and the country's top judge all vowed to make new efforts, including enhancing public supervision, to fight corruption.
But if someone should have the audacity to squeal on graft?
"Nine of the top 10 anti-graft fighters in the past three decades have faced retaliation," He Zengke, director of the Institute of Contemporary Marxism under the CCP's Central Compilation and Translation Bureau, told China Youth Daily. He did not give details on who the top 10 anti-graft fighters were, or what retribution had been meted out to them, but there are plenty of cases of informants being killed, jailed or attacked after tipping off the authorities.
Government officials have a serious image problem both in encouraging offenses to be reported, creating the incentives to do so but also protecting whistleblowers. Sustained development requires rule of law and property rights that protect everyone. While China has clearly come a long ways - and its vibrant and burgeoning entrepreneurial class is evidence of this, it has a long ways to go.

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