Monday, 19 September 2011

Corruption Crackdown, Chinese Style

The Chinese government likes to have campaigns, especially when it comes to corruption.

These anti-corruption sweeps are for a fixed period of time and everyone tries to act as innocent as angels and then when the campaign is over everything goes back to the way it was before.

A few people are caught as examples, but there is no determined widespread effort to shut down anything unless it's not in the best interests of the government.

The latest anti graft campaign is focusing on where corruption is likely to happen -- publicly funded infrastructure projects or where people's livelihood are affected, such as food and industrial safety.

One would think these would be a given, but it seems the government is seriously looking at it now after the fiasco over the Wenzhou high-speed train crash and the numerous food scandals.

The Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Ministry of Supervision and the National Bureau of Corruption Prevention have drafted guidelines on strengthening "graft risk prevention and control", the Beijing Times recently reported.

There will be extra attention paid to areas where corruption is high, such as industrial and infrastructure projects, the granting of land rights and the trading of property rights, according to the draft outlines.

Other areas such as land reclamation, education, medical services, social security, food and medicine safety, environmental protection and work safety will also be examined closely.

Not only that but the anti-graft watchdogs will also be looking at the officials who have the power over personnel matters, administrative enforcement, judicial affairs and the approval or supervision of projects.

Perhaps most interesting about the draft guidelines is its acknowledgement of repeated campaigns to stamp out corruption but that it still remains as one of the main sources of anger in China.

We all know what the fundamental problem is -- one party rule needs to end. The Chinese government cannot police itself -- if it was really determined to stamp out corruption it would appoint an independent body to do this. However three government agencies are looking after this -- which means there will be lots of bickering involved.

So the whole exercise is a foregone conclusion.

The people know this is a public relations exercise in the hopes of gaining more trust from them -- but they are so jaded that all they do is shake their heads and go on with their day.

And all these areas the government watchdogs are trying to focus on, such as infrastructure, health and food -- shouldn't it already be doing this to ensure all citizens live healthy and safe lives?

How is there supposed to be any progress in China when its people are constantly held back by corruption scandals?

When the massive 4 trillion renminbi ($570 billion) stimulus package was announced in late 2008, many China experts already predicted massive corruption. Over two years later we are seeing the results of it -- on an enormous scale because of how much money was involved.

The government only has itself to blame.

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