Corruption in China and How It Can Be Solved

TheReporter By TheReporter, 21st Jun 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

A highlight of the predicaments caused by embezzlement and how the establishment of an independent commission combatting the problem could eliminate this parasite indefinitely.

Please note: I write this, not as a Chinese dissident, but as a patriot who wants the best for his country.

Why Corruption Cannot Be Ignored

China is currently plagued with numerous problems—social, economic, environmental—as all countries are. But all of these problems are affected by a single predicament, corruption. Solving this issue would place China one step closer toward the dream of the great Chinese philosopher Kong Fu Zi, a “harmonious society.”

When local administrative officials demand bribes from businesses to conceal a bad safety record, when a SEPA regulator accepts hush money from a dirty coal company to be silent about their large amounts of carbon emissions, or when health department workers threaten to close a restaurant if they don’t receive some form of enticement, the reputation of the Chinese government is damaged. With the threat of “forced” payments of bribes to administrative bureaucrats, Chinese companies and foreign businesses—who would like to continue running their enterprises—are less likely do so, limiting economic growth and raising unemployment rates.

Bribery can affect much more than just economics. It undermines the government’s ability to enforce laws and questions the legitimacy of it. For example, if a building is not thoroughly checked for safety requirements by bribed inspectors, structures—like schools in Sichuan Province in May of 2008—will crumble in the event of an earthquake or other severe natural disaster. If a greedy administrator embezzles cash from a stimulus fund set up to boost economic growth or a trust fund to aid disaster victims, residents will question the effects of the aid money and distrust their government, assuming it just has good intentions but no will to improve the lives of their citizens.

How to Fix the Problem

The government, at all bureaucratic levels, needs to introduce an independent commission against corruption to track every yuan of government money and monitor closely the actions of all officials, from their bank accounts to homes too large too afford based on one’s salary. This commission would have access to all histories and files regarding any government administrator. It would report only to the president.

A commission like this has worked before. In Hong Kong in the 60's, corruption by civil servants of all kinds was rampant and commonplace. After the formation of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the local government became much more transparent and trustworthy for its residents.

Although the institution of such a commission would be extremely unpopular with current officials, it would be supported by Chinese citizens. Even though this seems like a large step and a money waster on its own, the very existence of it will stop eager local leadership from embezzling funds and will pay for itself in the amounts of money that will get caught from “under-the-table” transactions.

Corruption is not something that can be put aside and forgotten. It is urgent and impedes economic growth. It also damages the reputation of the Chinese government, complicates the enforcement of laws, and does not allow the federal leadership to effectively institute changes in law and regulation.


Business, China, Corruption, Economics, Government, Government Spending, Hong Kong

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author avatar TheReporter
Currently studying business at the University of California in Los Angeles.

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author avatar Natalie
5th Apr 2011 (#)

Yes you are right. Two of the biggest countries in Asia, India and China are going through a similar debacle. Corruption is corroding the very edifice od the Republic. What is shocking is that in the present scenario the Bureaucrats and the Politicians are hands in glove; worse, corruption has also pervaded the Judiciary in India.
What is the solution in a situation where half the population go hungry and the select masses mint money through the backyard? Revolution.

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