Rule of Law

Xi’s anti-corruption drive ‘doing more harm than good’

New academic research and analysis shows President Xi Jinping’s high-profile anti-corruption drive has fallen short of its goal. Citizens blame local graft on the central government rather than regional authorities. The Financial Times reports.

A survey of 83,300 Chinese citizens nationwide by telephone has found that President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign has failed to enhance the image of China’s Communist party, the Financial Times reports.

The survey’s findings published by the Institute of Governance and Public Affairs of Guangzhou’s Sun Yat-sen University suggest that the more cases of graft reported in a prefecture, the stronger the perception the lion’s share of blame lies with the central government.

Analysis by the Financial Times indicates part of the reason for this perception is a lack of punishment for officials found in abuse of power. According to the Times:

While almost 750,000 cadres were disciplined by the party over the same period, experts on party disciplinary mechanisms stress that most such cases amount only to a warning or demerit.

Academics who have studied China’s past anti-corruption drives say that the severity of the campaign appears to be carefully managed.

A Pew Research Centre poll earlier this year found Chinese citizens rated official corruption a greater concern than even pollution and food safety.

Speaking to the Times, Professor Fu Hualing, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong, suggested shifting the focus of anti-corruption efforts from the Communist Party to the courts could permanently reduce corruption.

The Financial Times notes, however, that Mr. Xi has rejected that alternative “in favour of maintaining the party’s leading role.”

Read the article in full here at the publisher’s website



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