Edited by Barry Rider
Corruption by its nature is a complex and interactive political, economic, and cultural phenomenon. Transparency International defines corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. Corruption virtually exists in every society in this world. However, China is unique in its ways of understanding, identifying, and combating corruption, given the fact that China is a socialist country with a long history of bureaucratic culture. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has put many constraints on the bureaucracy since its foundation because of the party’s utopian idea of an egalitarian society. But, on the other hand, the party continues to rely on the bureaucracy to manage the centrally planned and hierarchically ordered economy. Administrative power, and its associated privileges, essentially has turned the bureaucracy into a powerful social class. Corruption, in the sense of abuse of public office, has been a serious crime in China for thousands of years. Since China’s economic reform in the 1980s, the issue of combating corruption has raised increasing public concern. The ruling party CCP has recognised that corruption undermines the credibility of its own objectives ever since its foundation, and has launched innumerable initiatives against corruption and self-dealing and devoted considerable resources to the problem. This chapter intends to review the evolution of anti-corruption, introduce Chinese anti-corruption structure and legislation, and discuss China’s recent anti-corruption initiatives.
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