Saturday, August 30, 2014

China paying for corruption crackdown

China Business
     Aug 5, '14

China paying for corruption crackdown
By Michael Lelyveld

China's widening anti-corruption campaign has unsettled officials at all levels, stalling the government's economic agenda and administrative reforms, experts say.

The mounting toll of probes, prosecutions and punishments for offenses ranging from bribery to moral misbehavior has sent officials running for cover, slowing implementation of new economic policies to a crawl.

Local bureaucracies are "effectively on strike", wrote contributor Gordon Chang, quoting John Fitzgerald, director of the

Asia-Pacific Center of Australia's Swinburne University of Technology.

Deals and decisions have reportedly been delayed by officials who are afraid to issue approvals or disapprovals in the absence of a safe political course.

"In this environment, those in government feel endangered," Chang wrote. "While all this happens, economic activity is beginning to suffer," he said.

There may be no way of estimating the economic impact of the corruption crackdown since President Xi Jinping took over as general secretary of the ruling Chinese Communist Party in November 2012. But disincentives for risk-taking have risen at a time when the government has called for market-oriented reforms.

One reason is the growing scope and sheer volume of anti-graft cases, convictions and party expulsions this year.

Although official tallies do not necessarily jibe, the counts of corruption cases suggest punishments on a colossal scale. More …

Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Asia. For original article, see here

Copyright (c) 2014, Radio Free Asia.

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