Corruption in The People's Republic of China

Corruption In The People's Republic Of China

China suffers from widespread corruption. For 2012, China was ranked 80th out of 176 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, on par with Serbia and Trinidad and Tobago, ranking more corrupted with tied countries of Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Jamaica, Panama, and Peru, but more corrupted than Sri Lanka and most developed countries. Means of corruption include graft, bribery, embezzlement, backdoor deals, nepotism, patronage, and statistical falsification.

Cadre corruption in post-1949 China lies in the "organizational involution" of the ruling party, including the Chinese Communist Party's policies, institutions, norms, and failure to adapt to a changing environment in the post-Mao era caused by the market liberalization reforms initiated by Deng Xiaoping. Like other socialist economies that have gone through monumental transition, such as post-Soviet Eastern Europe and Central Asia, post-Mao China has experienced unprecedented levels of corruption, making corruption one of the major hindrances to the PRC's social and economic development.

Public surveys on the mainland since the late 1980s have shown that it is among the top concerns of the general public. According to Yan Sun, Associate Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York, it was corruption, rather than democracy as such, that lay at the root of the social dissatisfaction that led to the Tiananmen protest movement of 1989. Corruption undermines the legitimacy of the CCP, adds to economic inequality, undermines the environment, and fuels social unrest.

Since then, corruption has not slowed down as a result of greater economic freedom, but instead has grown more entrenched and severe in its character and scope. Business deals often involve participation in corruption. In popular perception, there are more dishonest CCP officials than honest ones, a reversal of the views held in the first decade of reform of the 1980s. China specialist Minxin Pei argues that failure to contain widespread corruption is among the most serious threats to China's future economic and political stability. Bribery, kickbacks, theft, and misspending of public funds costs at least three percent of GDP. China, though not a member of the OECD has participated as an observer in the OECD Working Group on Bribery in International Business Transactions, see OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

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