Corruption in China
Corruption has threatened the economic stability of China. It has become rampant and has diffused itself to every monetary transaction. According to Zhang (2013), battle on corruption feels like an attempt to “put out a big fire with a glass of water,” given how corruption has reached every corner of our society. This is how serious this topic is in modern China and therefore worthy of analysis. The vitality in which corruption has penetrated and negatively affected China economy has kept president Xi Jinping awake to the challenge of curbing this dangerous social evil. A desperate situation calls for well thought strategies and policies rather than being reactive and sentimental. Oster (2014) views the policies of president Xi Jinping as the most sustained drive against high-level corruption since the advent of economic reforms in the early 1980s.
Corruption in China is deeply intertwined to culture. Culture transmits values and vices in equal measure. Social relationships are shaped by culture through the social relation norms in different aspects of human life. In China Guanxi is a treasured personal relationship and it shape how everything is done from, contract awarding, judicial arbitrations, distribution of government services, securing employment to investing in China. Guanxi in China is understood as; personalized friendship/relations/networks, which are mutual and influence exchange. According to Forbes (2012) Guanxi is described as not what you know, it’s who you know and the difference between success and failure, fortune and poverty is not how you build professional relationships, that is, “networking”, guanxi (gwan-shee), which essentially implies if I scratch your back, you scratch mine too. It is no doubt that this treasured way of making and maintaining personal relations and network rooted in Chinese culture catalyze corruption in China (Barboza, 2012). The New York Times reported that Prime Minister Wen awarded a government contract worth $30 million to a company, which is owned by his younger brother. Corruption takes different forms; nepotism, bribery, sexual favors, discrimination and planned political seclusion. The above illustration clearly demonstrates Guanxi is directly and explicitly related to corruption in China.
Corruption and Guanxi have a direct link. This relationship of the two brings forth practical lessons. First, unfair administration of justice. Lewis (2013) makes this clear in Asian Briefings when he says corruption in China is rampant and that corruption seriously undermines the ability to receive a fair result in a Chinese court or before a China-based arbitral body. Relationships should not be built with an intention to oppress but promote common good and social welfare. Secondly, it is costly to build and maintain Guanxi; to build these relations on must join his/her associates in social places. To win influential people some spend much buying them drinks and gambling. Corruption and Guanxi has denied China of massive foreign investment, Media in China is known to be hostile to foreign investors. Guanxi has been detrimental to China social-economical development, and as a result millions of China people have been immersed in poverty.
I have learned two fundamental lessons about Corruption and Guanxi in the contemporary China. First, it is necessarily difficult to change what is culturally founded. Therefore China as a nation to eradicate corruption and Guanxi cultural transformation is inevitable. Culture evolves leaving behind what imprisons those who give birth to it. Second, Corruption and Guanxi are oppressive killer social and cultural practices. They have driven millions of China people into absolute poverty. The two are outdated cultural and social practices that belong to the past and they must be eradicated. Legislation of law to curb corruption and criminate Guanxi is one of the practical options.
Barboza, David. ‘Billion Hidden Riches For Family Of Chinese Leader’. The New York Times 2012: 2. Print.
Forbes. ‘Want To Capitalize On China? You Better Have Good Guanxi’. 2012:5. Print.
Lewis, Randall. ‘Clarity On Guanxi; Cultural And Media Issues In China’. Asian Briefings 2013: 7. Print.
Oster, Shai. ‘President Xi’s Anti-Corruption Campaign Biggest Since Mao’. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Nov. 2014.
Zhang, Lijia. ‘In China ‘Everyone Is Guilty Of Corruption”. CNN Opinion (2013): 3. Print.