Leadership: Auditors Go After Chinese Generals


February 2, 2006: In China, corruption in military procurement is an ancient, and destructive tradition. While these criminal practices disappeared for a decade or so after the communist took over in 1948, the problem is now spinning out of control. In an attempt to rein in sticky fingered officers, the government will now perform financial audits on 4,000 senior military officers. This will include a hundred of the most senior (army commander and above), who have the access to the most opportunity to get rich illegally. These audits are not something particularly new. Over the past five years, auditors examined 77,000 military organizations and projects, as well as 7,890 officers. The auditors reported that they had recovered $850 million. There were also some prosecutions. The main intention of the audits is to discourage officers from stealing. The thefts have become so pervasive that many officers consider it a legitimate way to augment their low pay. The audits are also used to evaluate officers for promotion.


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