The Corruption In China

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Introduction: China’s reputation on the world stage, at least from the perspective of the West, has been intimidating as of late. Its growing physical and economic presence, as well as its label as a communist country, have caused decades of Western politicians to hyperbolize its trajectory into a sort of political domination. Although the speed of economic growth has slowed down for China, it is still a source of confusion and controversy because of its complicated political standing. As the country introduces a free market into a communist country, often by establishing specific zones to ease the transition and keep it regulated, China is introduced to a sort of political flux. In times of transition, rules become less clear, and corruption…show more content…
Since the market reform of 1978, the frequency of corruption cases has risen alongside the economy (Zhu). The seemingly logical connection to this would be that capitalism pervades corruption, but the causes of corruption, as examined through a case study of the office-selling chain in Heilongjiang Province, it was revealed that the issue has more complicated roots. Perhaps the corruption originated with communism, as illegal privatization of scarce resources deemed as a public good could profit an individual greatly. This same idea can be applied to government offices, as seats of power are also a scarce resource, which in turn, deinstitutionalizes the government. Although buying and selling public offices was prevalent in the past and also easy to find in other Western countries, China outlawed the practice in 1949 with its joining of the modern state system. However, corruption in the form of the monetization of public offices became something of an informal norm, and for many, presented as a mandatory step to gaining a desirable office. Additionally, it can be argued that in a democratic state, because officials must pander to the general public, there is much less focus on pleasing higher-ups and more on the people they will be elected to represent. Communism itself could be a cause of…show more content…
As Hong Kong was officially handed over to China in 1997, and is both independent from China as well as a part of it, the clash of the Chinese and Hong Kong governments and differences between the two are astounding. Although Hong Kong, as viewed by most, is technically China, the island’s government does not share the same reputation of political corruption. On the contrary, Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), which began over 40 years ago, has succeeded in helping to transform Hong Kong into the international financial hub that it is today. Beginning in 1974 as a result of a corrupt police chief (Peter Godber), and focusing on police corruption, the organization was able to be as effective as it was as a result of its decision to pardon cases of corruption that had occurred before 1977. The police, who had formerly attracted members with the allure of getting away with corruption and individual gain, enforced their new anti-corruption law by giving the police who did want to adjust to a new political environment a second chance. It is said by some experts that, “Hong Kong became an international finance hub – receiving more than $HK 82 billion in overseas investment since 2000 - because of the commission’s work”(Lam). So, what can China learn from this? On the flip side, how will an infiltrating China affect the political culture of Hong Kong in the future?

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