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Of prostitutes...
and Chinese officials; bribes et al

There is nothing new to corruption in China. Of late, however, it has grown to menacing proportions. It has been reported that over the last year, as many as 1,47,000 cases were investigated by the party committee responsible for internal discipline. It has also been reported that around 10,000 officials were convicted of corruption charges in the first six months of this year.

The biggest spurt in corruption was infused in the Chinese system while the economy was going through its market-oriented reforms. It is during this time that favours were asked by the party officials in lieu of licenses. The state of affairs was found out when Chinese officials started spending much of their ill gotten moneys on prostitutes, homes and vacations. As many as 4,000 officials have fled the country over the past few years with a staggering $50 million to avoid prosecution.

It is a fact that high growth economies also score high on corruption. This correlation has been universal and has also been observed in other economies around the world. The biggest challenge in front of Hu Jintao is to cleanse this menace within the rank and file of the party. Just like the way Chinese had dealt the world affairs with an iron hand, the same is needed to be done to deal with this menace. Failing which, the gains could convert faster into losses.

By:- B&E

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