CHINA TIMES, ECONOMIC OBSERVER (China)
BEIJING - "Chinese people should tolerate a certain degree of corruption, because nowhere in the world is any country able to solve this problem completely. The importance is just to limit the corruption so people can tolerate it…"
This commentary appeared three days ago in the Global Times, a branch of the People's Daily, which are both mouthpieces for the Chinese Communist Party. Needless to say this has become the latest buzz in China.
Since March, Xi Jing Ping, a man who will probably be China's next leader, and Wen Jiabao, China's current Prime Minister, as well as the People's Liberation Army, have all three advocated an anti-corruption campaign. It is therefore particularly odd that an organ of the Chinese Communist Party came up with such a commentary.
China Youth Daily, an official newspaper of China's Communist Youth League, severely criticized the article, saying that such a fallacy "is harming the country." New Life News said that this was "a kind of self-deceiving mentality which plainly encourages people's insensitivity towards corruption" .
As for the commentator at the Economic Observer, he is outraged, "it's rare to read such utterly shameless remarks…the kind of quibbling which intends to make our country go backwards and make our civic awareness obtuse. Are such words also supposed to be called Chinese characteristics?"
Since 1990, according to a report published last year by the Bank of China, as many as 18,000 people have fled overseas with a colossal sum of money - more than $120 billion US dollars – and this is a conservative estimate. These people include all ranks of Chinese civil servants and senior management figures of state-owned companies. In other words, each run-away official stole, on average, an estimated $7 million US dollars.