While President Xi Jinping‘s crackdown on corruption is lauded by most, the campaign has some negative side-effects, says author Shaun Rein of The War for China’s Wallet: Profiting from the New World Order in the South China Morning Post. Officials have become increasingly afraid to make larger decisions because they fear a possible backlash, he says.
The South China Morning Post:
Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research and author of The War for China’s Wallet: Profiting from the New World Order, said Beijing’s crackdown was having a largely positive effect, albeit with two consequences.
“Government officials are scared of green lighting bigger projects so business transactions have slowed,” he said.
“Officials are scared of getting fingered for being corrupt so it is easier to keep their heads down and not approve anything.”
“[And] in general the speed of business is slowing because of the bureaucracy and policies being implemented. For example, before one could bribe an official to get approvals for a real estate project. Now they have to follow a transparent bidding and approval system.”
But it is not so much the catching of officials – Chinese or elsewhere – that frustrated Transparency International’s Salas, who called for better press freedom to cover and examine corruption cases.
“Each country is different, so for example China has to do more beyond punishing some individuals,” he said.
“It has to allow journalists and activists to raise their voices, while the US has to urgently control the money that flows to politics from big businesses, and so on.”
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