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China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

2021-12-28 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

51Due教员组今天给各位留学生带来一篇纯原创代写政治范文,本文将分析中国腐败和政治派系的状况,突出反腐运动的主要特点。希望这篇可以帮助到各位留学生,同时需要代写也可以直接联系我们51Due客服vx(vx:Jenny_dynh)进行咨询。

Introduction
In November 2012, Xi assumed power of the CCP leader and became one of the most powerful man in the world. In the following years, he has waged an anti-corruption campaign that has shocked the world with the unprecedented scale and influence. Despite the surface of the campaign, the political motivations behind the campaign is questionable, especially after Xi has made recent amendments in the constitution lifting the limit in the terms of service. This paper will analyze the conditions of corruption and political faction in China, and highlight the major features of the anti-corruption campaign. The objectives of the campaign are found to tighten economic control, cleanse the party through warning, and for Xi to consolidate his political power.

Corruption and Political Faction
The current China economy is an economy in which the physical economy accelerates monetization. In the case of physical economy, people are eager to use power for a limited amount of resources. Nowadays, money has unlimited energy, and the expectations of those who exchange money for power grow infinitely. Money also encourages competitors in the market to use money for power and gain more money through power. However, the development of commodities or monetary economy does not necessarily bring about corruption. Only when the market is underdeveloped, the exchange rules are incomplete, and the economic order is chaotic, can power enter the market and transformed into corruption. At present, the old social system is still working, the new system of neoliberalism is growing, the market mechanism is imperfect (Wedeman, 2007). As a result, the order of economic competition is chaotic. These are the conditions for the growth of corruption.

The contradictions between the dual system of socialism and the market economy have caused friction and chaos in economic order. State-owned enterprises implement monopolies in competitive industries to prevent the entry of private capital, which undermines the basic rules of fair competition. The profits generated by the monopoly are enough to make some officials forget their identity and corrupt the image of the government. Some people drilled loopholes in the system through various channels to obtain additional legal or illegal income. In the capital markets, insider trading and malpractice are continuing (Wedeman, 2007). In the real estate market, the interests of developers and local governments are linked and rely on each other, seriously damaging the public’s interest. The government does not seem to have much of a means to regulate the market. Illegal administrative actions such as excessive fines, arbitrary assessment, arbitrary charges, etc., abound, all of which provide conditions for the growth of corruption.

China has a one-party political system that suppresses the supremacy of law and the free market (Li 139). Meanwhile, China has also been economic-oriented for the past decades, with the state controlling the majority of resources. The excessive power of the government officials and the booming economy combine to lead to inevitable corruption. The one-party policy of China resembles a lot the ancient Chinese emperor system. Those who are at the top have little incentive to be corrupt. It is only those who are with power in the middle that are the most motivate to achieve personal gains with their power. In the process of trading, it is inevitable that they trade off greater interests of the state for the smaller gains of their own (Li 141). In other words, corruption is at the expenses of the state. In the one-party system, corruption also feeds itself by constantly exerting influence on the new comers. Consequently, corruption is the main factor that undermines the legitimacy of the party and the trust of the people in the political system. These are the main reasons why corruption should be a target for all regimes.

It is also important to address that factions do exist in contemporary China, not just in history or people’s imagination. Based on the fragmented authoritarianism theory and the single-party regime in China, the effective way for new leaders from the top to exert influence is by forming factions (Zhu 1192). It has also become a tradition in China for political predecessors to protect the followers as a form of ‘legacy’ (Zhu 1194). Therefore, it is easy for any campaign to be politicalized due to factions in the CCP. Frequently, corruption and faction go hand in hand. This is because a group of corrupt officials have the power to influence and infect others. It is also easier for corrupt officials to form political alliances with each other. This makes it nearly impossible to separate the political nature from anti-corruption campaigns in China.

Characteristics of the Campaign
Since Xi took power in 2012, he has waged the largest-scale of anti-corruption campaign in China. 48 officials with ranks of the province/ministry level or higher have been investigated for corruption (Li 146). This scale of campaign has shocked the entire world. Despite the scale, Xi’s campaign is considered factional, or at least partially factional. Assessing the various aspects of the anti-corruption campaign in China since 2012. The hypocritical, superficial, secretive, and selective nature of the campaign begin to reveal.

Xi’s anti-corruption campaign is hypocritical, as not a single leader in the top CCP level is above corruption, including Xi himself (Li 146). Xi’s family is very wealthy, with business reaches in various sectors and an overall investment estimated to be 2.3 billion RMB (Li 145). Xi may have eliminated the ones standing out too much through the campaign, but he would never be able to eliminate corruption for good, unless he starts with his own family. Despite claiming that the people’s interests are the top priority in the campaign, voices from the people have been suppressed in China. In 2013, a small group of anti-corruption activists participated in a demonstration asking all party officials to “publicly disclose their assets (Human Rights Watch, 2013).” The group was charged with illegal assembly and disturbing social order, and were immediately put in prison. Apparently, the calling for anti-corruption may only be from the top. When the common people voice exactly the same opinion, an entirely different set of standard was applied on them.

Xi’s anti-corruption campaign is superficial. It does not target this source of the corruption as mentioned above. The fundamental anticorruption in China should be a reform in the political or legal system. The core of the problem is the infiltration of power into economic activities, which can only be prevented by the law. Instead, Xi’s campaign is entirely CCP-led and extralegal, centering around Xi’s ideals (Li 153). Despite the effectiveness in targeting the ‘tigers’ and the ‘flies’ temporarily, it does very little to legal institution reform (Li 149). There is little effort of institutional building observed in the campaign, as the authorities and Xi himself have claimed to be doing. According to Professor Fu from Hong Kong University, the way to permanently eliminate corruption is to shift the focus from the CCP towards the court, leaving corruption to legal measures (Reuters, 2016). Apparently, this solution has been rejected by Xi, since the separation of power from the party will inevitably diminish its authority and control over the political system.

Xi’s anti-corruption campaign is secretive. Unlike systematic and effective anticorruption, which is based on transparent institutions (Zhu 1213), Xi’s campaign was almost out of nowhere, which is why it created such a shock both home and abroad. An approach adopted by the party to investigate the corrupt members is called “shuanggui.” It involves a discipline inspection team that is acting independently from the judicial system. The members of the team are often arbitrarily selected from different government departments with little connection to each other (Dui Hua Foundation, 2013). This makes it less likely for personal relationships to interfere with the investigation. Locations of the shuanggui is kept a secret to the society. Investigation becomes especially effective in such secretive and isolated locations, making shuanggui an effective weapon in combating corruption. However, there is no guarantee of legitimacy and objectivity in the secretive style.

Xi’s anti-corruption campaign is highly selective, too. Waging an anti-corruption campaign is an effective way of power consolidation. The CCP also has a history of power struggles within the leadership circle (Zhu 1187). Inside the CCP party, political rivals such as Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang were driven out of power (Li 147). However, other major names of corruption, such as former state leader Jiang Zemin, were left untouched. By selectively eliminating the political enemies with the help of allies in the party, Xi’s power has reached an unprecedented height in CCP. According to Professor Ding, specializing in Social Science from Hong Kong University, an estimated 80% of government officials have conducted some form of corruption in their career (Reuters, 2016). This makes Xi’s vow to eliminate corruption with zero tolerance to be an empty and unrealistic promise. The level of instability caused would be unimaginable, if a thorough anti-corruption campaign happened in China.
Objectives & Efficacy
Based on the above analysis, consolidation of economic control may be the primary goal of the anti-corruption campaign. Corruption has greatly undermined the economic efficiency of the country. The trading between personal gains and much larger state interest is leading to great losses (Wedeman, 2017). It is believed that Xi’s new regime in China has targeted corruption to regain control over the economy and suppress the political factor in market economy. However, since the campaign does not implement institutional level reform, the effects of it would only be temporary. Long term effects are only possible with a third-party monitoring agency present, either the judicial system or the press. In China, the function of these departments has been extremely limited by the party.

From Xi’s personal perspective, the campaign was initiated to cleanse the party by eliminating corruption. the retired politburo standing members have grown too powerful and considered themselves to be above the law. This irritated Xi who is an idealist and believes in integrity of the individual and the party. According to a member of the CCP, Xi is among the members in the CCP leadership with the highest sense of integrity and honor (Li 2017). However, Xi’s intentions can only be assumed, as the campaign has also been categorized as hypocrite, superficial, and secretive. Another theory of the campaign objective is that Xi wanted to maintain the organization hierarchy within the party (Li 147). When the subordinates reach too high and become too greedy, punishment is created in the form of anti-corruption. This explains why Xi has not conducted a thorough institutional reform, and chose the weapon of shuanggui to target the “tigers” and the “flies.”

Xi Jinping spoke of anti-corruption on different occasions. He said: "We must strengthen the control and supervision of the operation of power. Power should be reined by the cage of regulations. Party cadres at various levels should keep in mind that no one can enjoy absolute power outside of the law (Dui Hua Foundation, 2013).” In this sense, the preventive functions of the campaign is highlighted. The preventive system is related to the long-term stability of social development and is the basis for the normal operation of the country. In the construction of the Party’s clean government, the key to strengthening the supervision over the exercise of rights is to establish a sound mechanism for restricting the operation of power, to allow power to operate under the sun, and to put power into the cage of the system. In the process of fighting corruption and advocating honesty, it is important not only to enclose the rights in the cage of the system, but also resolutely put an end to it and oppose the emergence of privilege. Despite such resolutions, the campaign does not form effective prevention without the help of an effective judicial system. The scope of a secretive investigation team is just too narrow to form a sustainable corrupt-free government.

The anti-corruption campaign functions the most effectively as warning. On January 22, 2013, the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection held the second session of the All-Party Learning Conference. Xi Jinping pointed out at the meeting that in the fight against corruption and building a clean government, it is necessary to adhere to both the "Tiger" and "Flies" (Wedeman, 2017). In the People's Daily on June 3, 2013, it was pointed out that "a 'tiger' must be surrounded by a group of 'flies', 'flies' are more in need of 'Tiger' as a support. 'Tiger' and 'flies' have formed gangs habitually (Wedeman, 2017). The community of interests shows that both tigers and flies are a group, and they are just differences in the size of powers and responsibilities, and the level of their positions. However, regardless of who they are, as long as they break the law and endanger the development of the party, they are severely punished. This is clearly a message sent from the top leadership repeatedly, and it has created profound influences among government officials.

Through high-profile warning education, the purpose of anti-corruption is to help officials to be honest, to observe the law, and to maintain the purity and advancement of the Party. At present, the pattern of interests has been constantly adjusted, information dissemination is accelerating, various cultures are surging, ideological concepts are mixed, and the communist party members' ideological activities have also become increasingly independent and diversified. In this context, Xi Jinping’s authority is also facing unprecedented challenges. Fear is more convincing, shocking, and preventive than ordinary member education. Through Zhou Yongkang and Bo Xilai’s warning cases, the role of Chinese officials becomes very clear. The psychological impact of warning on party members is enormous, and it will inevitably have a positive effect on the reduction of corrupt behavior, at least temporarily.

Of course, the political objectives of the campaign are evident. Through the campaign, Xi has eliminated strong contenders of the party leadership position, such as the rising political start Bo Xilai. Those who are loyal to Xi remained untouched. Xi has consolidated his authority in the party, by screening the officials and keeping those who agree with his politically and can follow him with full loyalty. A bonus and major result of the campaign is the positive propaganda and popularity that Xi received. Since new media in China is largely under state and CCP control, it is not surprising that public opinion in China has been guided towards the outrage against corruption, and gratitude towards Xi. In fact, Xi is considered the second most powerful leader of China since the Mao era, or even as powerful. This retrogression of history may not be the best for China.
Conclusion
With no institutional reform and a secretive approach, the anti-corruption campaign in China is more of a party discipline than a legal reform. Although the hypocritical, superficial, secretive, and selective characteristics are still far from forming a conspiracy theory, they indicate the obvious politics objectives behind the campaign. The campaign has sent mixed messages. On the one hand, it claims to have zero tolerance towards corrupt behavior. On the other hand, it adopts double standards, suppress the public voices, and is highly selective in the targets. Overall, the campaign is ineffective in eliminating corruption in the long term. However, it has been effective in establishing loyalty towards Xi, warning the officials about corruption, and consolidating Xi’s power as the party leader.

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