China: An endemic culture of corruption?

I recently retired as UK senior partner of BDO after 23 years as a partner with the firm. Last year, I took up a position as visiting professor at Xiamen University, China. My wife is Chinese and I decided to spend three months exploring business opportunities in the region and trying to learn some Mandarin.

I’m blogging about my experiences in China for Real Business – catch up on my journey so far. 

Chinese Premier Wen recently identified five areas for political reform: 

  • the rule of law; 
  • social fairness and justice; 
  • judicial justice; 
  • people’s democratic rights;
  • combating corruption. 
This last area gains much media attention: new anti-corruption bodies are being created and recent press stories expose officials misusing government cars and expense accounts. Junior staff tend to be fined and lose their jobs, although the larger cases involving senior staff can result in execution. 

One wonders how far up the ladder the systemic corruption extends… Someone commented recently that the quickest way to get caught is not to share your booty with your boss. 

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