Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, April 22, 2013

No corruption for you!

While the PRC leadership makes loud noises about stemming corruption and punishing corrupt officials, people have to know that only the officials are allowed to decide what should be stemmed and who should be punished.

What do they think this regime is? A democracy?

China Expands Crackdown on Anticorruption Activists
Chinese authorities have detained six anticorruption activists in recent days, expanding their crackdown on a citizen-led campaign that, on the surface at least, would appear to dovetail with the new leadership’s war on official graft.

The detained activists, who include seasoned dissidents and a prominent rights lawyer, had been demanding that senior Communist Party officials publicly disclose their personal wealth…

1952 Anti-corruption poster: "Fight against the 3 Evils and 5 Evils"
The campaign, begun late last year with a petition drive that garnered thousands of signatures, has attempted to piggyback on a pledge by President Xi Jinping to clean up the endemic corruption he says poses an existential threat to the ruling Communist Party…

The arrests have both infuriated and disappointed reformers and human rights advocates, who say the crackdown bodes ill for Mr. Xi’s widely trumpeted war on graft. “The party promised to publish officials’ assets 30 years ago, something it has yet to do,” said Xu Zhiyong, a lawyer and founder of the New Citizens Movement who is being held under house arrest. “Clearly the government is afraid of this demand.” …

Analysts say the crackdown on dissent, coupled with newly announced media restrictions and the absence of any new anticorruption initiatives, are gnawing away at any hopes that Mr. Xi will embrace the rule of law and clean government.

“These arrests do nothing to dispel the widely held opinion that public office is in essence a way to accumulate illegal wealth,” said Nicholas Bequelin, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch in Hong Kong…

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At 8:46 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

Chinese official sacked after 'citizen journalists' expose extravagant banquet

Zhang Aihua did what he could to appease the outraged mob that burst into his private party, shocked as they were to witness tables strewn with rare Yangtze river fish and imported wine. He knelt on a table, picked up a loudhailer, and begged for forgiveness.

As the Communist party boss of an industrial zone in Taizhou City, in the south-east of Jiangsu province, Zhang probably knew that this revelation of official profligacy would cost him his job…

When Zhang was fired on Monday, he became the latest victim of president Xi Jinping's frugality and anti-corruption drive – an effort fuelled in no small part by an exasperated public set on exposing the country's extreme wealth gap with mobile phone cameras and microblogs…

Since Xi launched his anti-corruption drive in November, scores of officials have been sacked for malfeasance, sales of luxury goods have plummeted nationwide and high-end restaurants have reported dismal returns. Yet some analysts say that the drive has simply pushed lavish official banquets and venal gift-giving underground.

Steve Tsang, an expert on Chinese politics at the University of Nottingham, said that the central government may only tolerate the breed of citizen journalism that took down Zhang as long as it dovetails with the party's priorities. "I think if and when they are seen as crossing a line, and are focused on challenging the party, or party rule, that would be a different matter," he said. "I think the clampdown would be quite tight."


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