China: September 18, 2000


Facing the increasing possibility of a widespread uprising against corrupt officials, the government has several hundred senior officials on trial for such transgressions. Most get convicted and many are executed. While none of the few dozen most senior communist party officials have been tried, a few of the top few hundred officials have. The corruption problem has increased as the economy improves. Local officials can tax as they wish and are subject to little supervision from above. So the number of local officials increase as the amount of money that can be obtained does. The local police are in on the scam, and when there is unrest, the police are attacked as energetically as local officials. The army has always been the ultimate tool for defeating rebellion, but the military has its share of corrupt officers. Few of these have been prosecuted, no doubt because the government does not want to tamper with the loyalty of the troops when they may be needed. 


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