International - Written by on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 1:22 - 0 Comments

China bans private clubs in latest move in bribery crackdown

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Made in China

China’s corruption crackdown went up another notch this week.

News reports in China report that private clubs are being closed down as part of China’s increasing crackdown on corruption following a new regulation published this month.

The new regulation emanated from the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.

It is widely thought that corrupt deals are brokered in private clubs out of the public gaze accompanied by expensive food and wine.

All private clubs established at historical sites and public parks, with or without the required licenses, should be shut down or transformed into other businesses, according to the regulation, which will take effect on Saturday.

Ren Jianming, director of the Clean Governance Research and Education Center at Beihang University said:

“This type of corrupt practice used to be hard to track, as it happened in members-only clubs not open to the public and was a kind of abuse of public resources. The use of resources and facilities in public parks should be under public supervision to crack down on such practice.”

Wang Hongjun, a researcher in the Public Order Department at the People’s Public Security University of China, said:

“It demonstrates not only the government’s resolve to root out corruption but also the severity of the abuse of power among officials, which is hindering the country’s progress,”

“Shutting down venues to avoid corrupt practice is an effective way to tackle corruption, but the anti-graft campaign needs more comprehensive measures to not only punish corrupt officials but also to close gaps in supervision.”

China Daily reported that in December, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, issued a regulation forbidding government officials from attending banquets and recreational activities at private clubs.

Opinion

We still hear the refrain that in China the custom is different.  We presume that ‘custom’ is a euphemism for bribery but that is left unsaid.

We disagree.

When we were in China 20 years ago it was a very different place. It is not just the massive development which has taken place since.  There were plenty of other things which were absent or at the very least less prevalent then.  Bribery is one of them.

If bribery is a problem in China, the West has played its part in making it so.

There would be no demand if there was no supply.

It may be that the best time to have stopped bribery in China was 20 years ago. Failing that the best time to start is now.

The Chinese have.

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