Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Fact of the Day: Corruption Perception

Chinese President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption drive has been going on for about two years now.

Ordinary folk are pleased to see their leader crack down on crooked officials and how much of their ill-gotten gains were confiscated by police. There are tales of bank notes that if placed one on top of the other would be 6 metres taller than Times Square in Causeway Bay, while others seem to have stuffed whatever they got into every nook and cranny of their homes.

The latest is that Ling Wancheng, brother of former president Hu Jintao's aide, Ling Jihua, is being investigated with another person nabbed who has connections to the former.

Li Liang, who was chief of the Investor Protection Bureau at the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) was taken away and investigated for legal infringements and disciplinary violations.

So it looks like Xi and his anti-corruption czar, Wang Qishan are bagging a number of "tigers" as well as "flies".

However, according to Transparency International's 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index, China doesn't seem to be making much of a dent in stomping out graft.

This year the anti-corruption watchdog gave China 36 out of 100 points, with 0 indicating a country perceived to be highly corrupt, and 100 that is perceived to be very clean.

The survey is based on local and international experts' opinions of public-sector corruption.

Incidentally China tied for 100th place out of 175 countries with Algeria and Suriname sharing 36 points.

Last year China's score was 40, and in 2012 it was 39.

Hong Kong is ranked 17th with a score of 74, but it was 75 the year before and 77 in 2012.

Demark is number one with 92 points, Singapore is 7th at 84, and Canada is 10th with 81. North Korea is last on the list tied with Somalia at a lowly score of 8.

According to this index, it is perceived that China's corruption is getting worse not better.

"The government has recognized the need to follow officials who hide ill-gotten gains overseas," says Transparency International's press release. "This January, leaked documents revealed 22,000 offshore clients from China and Hong Kong, including many of the country's leaders."

These include people related to former premier Wen Jiabao, as well as Xi, and wealthy elite like Yang Huiyan, who owns majority shares in Country Garden Holdings, as well as Soho China co-founder Zhangxin, and Ma Huateng, co-founder of Tencent.

How far will Xi's anti-corruption probe go? Will he rope in his own brother-in-law, Deng Jiagui, according to these leaked documents?

And with the over two-month-old Umbrella Movement, will Hong Kong's perception of corruption change much, now that the lid has pretty much been blown off on the collusion between developers and the government, as evidenced by the Rafael Hui/Kwok brothers court case?

We'll have to find out next year. Stay tuned.


  1. I seriously suspect whether Xi's "anticorruption drive" is a political power push to consolidate Xi's power similar to previous anticorruption drives when each new CCP president and premier comes online...

    In addition, I found Xi JinPing a TOTAL HYPOCRITE blaming the US for thrawting Xi's anticorruption drive when the main problem is Xi's can't guarantee or provide any human rights while in China (very similar to the PRC Chinese rule of law becoming a total joke) Even more funny is PRC China is spending more on Chinese domestic spying vs. defense spending...

    Sadly, what happens in China with its domestic spying is already occuring in HK with all these cameras on top of buildings in every neighborhood in HK (ie look up when in Kowloon and Mongkok, you will see hi-res cameras)

    HK is becoming more corrupt and more like a police state, everyday...(not to mention more polluted...)

    1. nulle -- This is what politics is about! His daughter is educated in the US and yet expects everyone else to be patriotic!

      Hope the survey is a wake-up call for Hong Kong to be more vigilant. As I concluded, we shall see if the Umbrella Movement had any impact.

  2. I disagree, politics and politicians are slime in general, but not to the level of being hypocrites. Politicians still have a basic belief and selfish logic...

    Being hypocrites are in the domain of dictators, mass murders, and even Communist gov't officials, or officials of failed police/fascist states...