Experts are suggesting Beijing follow Hong Kong as an example as it begins its high profile crackdown on corruption. It wasn’t too long ago that Hong Kong was one of Transparency International’s lowest-scoring regions, with rising gangsterism and rampant official corruption, but the past few decades have been extremely kind to the area and China could certainly use some pointers.
While China has certainly paid more attention to official corruption in the past few months, there is still an omnipresent culture of corruption; that is, the idea that one’s problems can be fixed outside of the law (for a modest sum) is still in the minds of multitudes of Chinese citizens, and they’re often not wrong.
In Hong Kong, anti-corruption education starts at local kindergartens, where children are
brainwashed presented with stories where the honest character always win even in an ethical dilemma.
Two generations after adopting this approach, a major cultural shift in the attitude of the local population was noticed.
However that isn’t the case in China.
“In China now, most of the corrupt officials would compete to see whoever received more bribes,” says Ran Lia, Transparency International’s senior program coordinator.
The tradition of giving cash during festivals has expanded to paying officials for favors.
Despite China’s conviction of former politician Bo Xilai on corruption charges (and several other high-profile suits recently) there has been little change in the day-to-day realities, said Liao, because stamping out corruption is not simply a legal issue.
[Image via: @757Live // Videos via: CNN]