Washington: Chinese leaders, who have been decrying corruption and doing very little about it for decades can have a little more hope this time around as Xi Jingping embarks his political journey as China’s new President, corruption experts have said.
Though China’s fight against curbing corruption would be a huge challenge nation, Xi warning the first meeting of the newly chosen 25 member Politburo last weekend can act as a ray of light for the ordinary Chinese citizen’s single biggest complaint.
“All behavior that violates party discipline or the law should be punished without mercy,” Xi had said.
The problem of corruption, which was first brought forward by Mao Zedong when he founded Communist China, in December 1951, even 60 years later has not gone away in China, Christian Science Monitor reports.
According to experts, some 668,000 party members have been punished for corruption in the past five years, a figure that represents only the tip of an iceberg.
“Controlling corruption will be a huge challenge for any regime. Realizing that it’s a problem and making it a priority does not necessarily mean they will be successful” in fighting it,” says Lu Xiaobo, a professor at Barnard, Columbia, who has written a book about official corruption in China.
“For a long time everything was focused on economic development, and that was the primary task,” says Mao Zhaohui, head of the Anti-Graft Research Center at Beijing’s Renmin University. “That is changing” as other political priorities emerge, he believes.
“Xi Jinping’s approach seems clearer and more systematic,” argues Professor Mao. Though it is too early to judge it, Mao expects Xi to build on his predecessor Hu Jintao’s call at the recent 18th Party Congress for steps “to ensure that the people oversee the exercise of power and that power is exercised in the sunshine,” the report said.