China To Launch New Anti-Corruption System

31-Dec-2016 Intellasia | Forbes | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The Communist Party of China, the centre of political power within the Asian Republic, today announced plans for a new anti-corruption system within the capital city of Beijing and provinces of Shanxi and Zhejiang.

The announcement empowers a more independent office that can supervise both those within the executive and judicial branches of the local state.

The ambition is to create an independent watchdog role, similar to the highly successful Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau in Singapore or a Scandinavian ombudsman.

Crucially, the new scheme will be independent of the Communist Party, which has a stranglehold of all key state position. This all-powerful status is, many argue, itself a source of discretionary action and corruption within China.

“In China, almost more than 98 percent of comrade leaders or public officeholders are [Communist] party members. So, it’s common in China that the party always overrides the government to have a full grip on power,” said Liao Ran, senior programme coordinator at Transparency International.

Although the pilot schemes will commence in Beijing, Shanxi and Zhejiang the ambition is to roll these out nationally. The new reforms will establish supervisory commissions and both central and provisional levels. Although they are nominally independent, they will ultimately report to the National People Congress, a Communist Party body. Their chairpersons will also be appointed by local party chairs.

Their role will be to investigate allegations of state corruption, including bribery, criminality and dereliction of duty. They will also be charged of prosecuting those found guilty of such violations.

Anti-corruption drives within China, although seemingly beneficial at a superficial level, are often indicative of a deeper ideological struggle within the party.

Earlier today, the party declared that it has achieved ‘crushing momentum’ in its campaign against corruption within the state. To underline this commitment, it was announced today that Wang Jianping a senior general is being investigated for corruption.

Reports emerged yesterday about the Politburo requiring to make personal pledges of loyalty towards president Xi Jinping. The move echoes the searching personal demands of Chair Mao in the 1960s. Those that were then found ideologically inadequate were reposted in a more humbling position, often within an agricultural or industrial setting. The most famous victim of these purges was Deng Xiaoping, who was sent to toil in a tractor factory as a line-worker after his rivals in the politburo targeted him for purging. Deng later became leader of China.

In yesterday’s ‘self-criticism’ session in the politburo, Xi demanded ‘pure’ and ‘unconditional’ personal loyalty, acknowledging himself as undisputed leader of China.

Anti-corruption efforts have a long and dubious history within China. They often precede periods of difficulty transitions as a new wave of leaders seize power.

In 2017, we are scheduled to see another such move, as the country faces another major power transition.


Category: China

Print This Post

Comments are closed.