31 December 2010

This week the Chinese Government published a report on measures being taken within both the Communist party and the Public Service, to establish a “culture of integrity”. It is part of a campaign to “combat corruption and build a clean government”. China acknowledges that corruption is still a ”very serious” problem.

The report makes impressive reading  – indicating a comprehensive programme to reverse China’s reputation for corruption. Few other countries would be able to describe  similar commitments.  The report lists not only internal measures but also endeavours to comply with treaty obligations and the leading contribution China is making to the activities of  the APEC Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts Task Force and the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia-Pacific.

The number of corruption investigations increased again over the year.  However, as if to reinforce the Government’s resolve, on the day the report was released, the media carried news of the execution of a regional Party leader for accepting bribes of more than $US 4 million.

The challenge for China is imbuing younger generations with an understanding that a culture of integrity is more than not getting caught contravening regulations; that integrity is a state of mind, it is not a set of rules.