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No place for corruption in changing nation

中国日报网 2013-11-14 09:44





Corruption is a problem in countries across the world, with developing countries often believed to be more prone to it, although there is no evidence to suggest this is the case.

However, in the transition from a state-planned economy to a market economy, private enterprises inevitably have an element of corruption, which manifests itself in the subordination of business to any level of government administration, as well as the patronage of the government over business structures.

There are two functions that corruption possesses. The first is its negative function impeding economic development. The second, less commonly acknowledged one, is corruption plays a role of lubricant to stabilize ties between business and political authorities. At the initial stage of the transition to a market economy, the second function plays the major role, as it makes up for imperfections in the legal regime.

Appropriation of corporate opportunities signifies the emergence of a unique form of mutually beneficial combination of private and state interests. But without this combination, the development of entrepreneurial initiative and free market reforms wouldn't be possible. During this period, the purpose of anti-corruption efforts is not to eradicate it, since the corruption is an integral way to boost economic activity and create a free economic area that is free from the State-planned system. Rather the aim is to keep the corruption within certain limits, as its rapid interdiction would mean elimination of entrepreneurial initiative and a return to the times before the transition begins.

Inevitably in the course of development comes the moment when corruption reaches a certain turning point, after which its functions and its role change. When a market economy has been established, the necessity for corruption, peculiar to the transitional stage, disappears. Having fulfilled its historical role, it begins to impede development of a new social system, dragging society back to the transition phase, as corruption can only exist as an intermediary between traditional and contemporary economic cultures.

As long as corruption exercises its originative function, society will tolerate it as a necessary or unavoidable evil so long as they benefit from rapid economic growth. However, when growth starts to slow, the awareness of social injustice will come to the fore and protests will occur. Hence, corruption will change from a factor that stabilizes relations between the state and business into a factor that destabilizes relations between the state and society.

As a new economic mechanism has been created in China and can develop independently on its own, eradicating corruption is necessary to restore and raise economic efficiency and growth rates. More importantly, eradicating corruption is necessary because its negative impacts, which were previously ignored because of high growth rates, are now undermining social stability and having a detrimental effect on the moral fabric of society.

The scale of corruption is high in other emerging economies, including Brazil, India and Russia, but what has attracted the world's attention to China, is the resolve the new leadership has shown in its efforts to fight corruption. It has introduced several measures to curb corruption, including tightening legislation, intensifying supervision, and strengthening the law, and as it consolidates the transformation to a new development mode and the country's modernization, the new leadership has shown it is determined to promote greater social justice. In the transition to a market economy, public servants have been able to exploit their role as facilitators for personal advantage, now the most urgent task is to deprive government bureaucracy of any improper privileges, and the leadership must back its words with action and show it is willing to tackle both the "tigers" and "flies" who violate the principle of social justice.

The CPC with its traditions of advancing the Party style, moral, ideological and political education campaigns is already primed for the fight against corruption. But it will be impossible to eradicate it without adhering to the principle of social justice. To overcome corruption it is necessary to embrace the old and new society at the same time and change the relations between the State, society and business to suit the changing circumstances.

The author is director of the Center of Political Research, the Russian Academy of Sciences.

By Andrey Vinogradov (China Daily)












(译者 艾琳莉莉 编辑 丹妮)



















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