China corruption could cause economic and political instability: report

China corruption could cause economic and political instability: report

[JURIST] Corruption in China's ruling Communist Party [JURIST news archive] could ultimately result in political and economic destabilization within the country [press release], according to a new report [PDF text] from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace [think tank website]. The report, written by Carnegie Endowment Senior Associate Minxin Pei [think tank profile], says that approximately 10 percent of government spending goes to officials who award contracts in the form of kickbacks or bribes, enough so that "even a relatively low-level official can amass an illicit fortune". As the amount of money involved in corruption has grown exponentially over the last few years, Pei says that without intervention, it is likely that an economic downturn, deterrence of Western investors, or a social revolution will inevitably occur.

Recognizing the problem, China's Communist Party [CPC news website; Britannica backgrounder] has lately taken a hard line on corruption, punishing officials with lengthy prison terms and even the death penalty [JURIST report]. In September a former official of the Agricultural Bank of China [corporate website] was executed [JURIST report] for taking bribes and embezzling nearly $2 million USD. In July, the former commissioner of China's State Food and Drug Administration [official website, in Chinese] was executed for accepting $850,000 in bribes [JURIST report]. AP has more.