When China placed 80th out of 176 countries in Transparency International’s 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index, some netizens suggested that the organization must have been bribed to give it such a high ranking. But when TI tried to measure corruption around the world this year, it found that no Chinese polling firm was willing to take on the task. From James T. Areddy at China Real Time Report:
“We approached a number of different local survey companies, but they did not feel that it would be possible to implement a survey of this nature in China without omitting many of the questions,” a spokeswoman for the Berlin-based group said in an email response to questions.
On Tuesday, Transparency International published a report it had been touting in recent weeks as the “biggest-ever public opinion survey on corruption.”
Yet despite the breadth of its research – 114,000 people surveyed in 107 countries – Transparency International doesn’t mention China once in its 48-page Global Corruption Barometer 2013. A pull-down tab of country reports on the organization’s website skips from Chile to Colombia.
“It’s true that China is clearly the main omission in terms of the survey’s country coverage, but we still firmly believe the Global Corruption Barometer’s overall messages and results are globally relevant,” the spokeswoman said. “Every time we do this research we seek to find ways to include China, but it remains a huge challenge.” [Source]
China’s absence from the report comes amid speculation that, despite the high-profile sentencing this week of almost billion-yuan bribetaker Liu Zhijun, Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption may be running out of steam. From Cary Huang at South China Morning Post:
“Reports that the new leaders have consulted retired leaders over this campaign suggest a lack of confidence among current leaders, because it shows the incumbents are concerned that their drive would meet strong resistance from vested interests,” said Professor Gu Su, a political affairs analyst at Nanjing University.
Chen Ziming, a political affairs analyst, said it indicated a lack of political will and determination on Xi’s part to push through meaningful political reform to root out corruption.
So-called “consultation with former leaders” often smacks of political compromises that result in “less tough measures and more lenient punishments” for the anti-graft campaign, Chen said. [Source]