Cut Ties that Bind China to Special Interests (Updated)
Zhou Ruijin, former deputy editor-in-chief of People’s Daily and Jiefang Daily, known also under nom de plume Huang Fuping, writes in Caijing about the risks China is exposed to by aligning itself with special interest groups:
As long as the pattern of resource allocation by power persists, and private sectors wish to grow, the likes of Huang Guangyu will choose to pay off government officials in exchange for privileges. Elitist business groups that conspire and do business with elitist political groups can control public policies, divide and devour state-owned assets, as well as seize and splurge public resources that rightfully belong to all citizens. This is what I call a typically harmful special interest group.
The growing power of these special interest groups, on one hand, is reflected in the ways they’ve seized natural resources. For example, state-owned monopolies and a few, privileged power groups have carved up the country’s mining resources. On the other hand, special interest groups have hired so-called “experts” to defend their monopolizing behavior.
The penetration of the country’s political and judicial systems by special interest groups is most alarming. Someone once commented that there are a lot of corrupt officials everywhere in the world, but corrupt judges are rare. At the moment, the country’s laws and regulations are incomplete, allowing judges to frequently pass verdicts at their discretion. The system exercises little supervisory power over public security agencies, prosecutors, courts and judges themselves, leaving plenty of room for corruption and abuse of the law.
Update: Earlier it was noted that Zhou was a reporter for Caijing. This has since been corrected. Many thanks to Tom Wang for bringing this to our attention.