Chinese leader Hu Jintao marked the beginning of the end of his 10-year term with a warning: official corruption “could prove fatal to the party and even cause the collapse of the party and the fall of the state,” he announced last week as the Communist Party Congress began. The week-long congress will see Hu hand off power to Xi Jinping, whose 10-year term is expected to face daunting, perhaps even existential, challenges to China’s rise and the system that got it there.
Hu’s warning about official corruption and its threat to the Communist Party’s rule has long been repeated by scholars and experts both inside and outside China. Corruption, they say, weakens public trust in the government, erodes that government’s ability to behave responsibly, and saps an economy that is already slowing.
That’s the macro view. For the micro view, consider Beijing’s professional poker loser. As Jamil Anderlini reports in the Financial Times, his job is to use poker as a cover for bribing government officials on behalf of a real estate developer. The best part of this phenomenon is that the developer started outsourcing his bribery to the poker player not to evade police, but because bribing the officials himself was getting too time-consuming. And, with all the drinking usually involved, it was bad for his health.
The original article can be found at washingtonpost.com