In recent years the government has taken a serious stance into curbing the rampant corruption that is still common place in various levels of the government. Although they have a long way to go we have seen some headway in recent years.
In 2000 when a former Vice-Mayor of Guangxi, and more recently in 2007 when the former Head of Food & Drug Safety were executed for taking bribes, Big Brother has made it clear that it is taking real steps to stamp out corruption although unlike Hong Kong, China still lacks the independence of the ICAC that can investigate corruption without fear of political retribution.
The most recent turn of events demonstrates that different levels of government are taking new steps to catch corrupt officials that might further damage China’s international image. In Chongqing 730,000 China Mobile users received an SMS enticing them to dob in an official to collect a reward of between RMB3,000 – RMB500,000. The free Hong Kong newspaper The Standard reports that
Calls have flooded in to a hotline over the past couple of weeks, including several valuable reports of unsavory activities that are being probed.
We don’t imagine that we will see a spate of executions in Chongqing but putting some fear into a system that has centuries of history of taking bribes and giving the people a voice can’t be all bad.