Friday, January 8

The wheels of China's corruption grind exceedingly fine

...the Communist Party secretary is king. He has the final say in all personnel decisions and the interpretation of central government policy. He runs the bureaucracy like a giant franchise system.

The 12 members of his standing committee vie for his favour rather than hold him to account. Below them are the party departments and government bureaus, whose rank and status are determined mainly by the amount of money flowing through them from above.

The Organisation Department is on top. Smith says all the township party secretaries paid money for their posts, as did the heads of 80 per cent of government bureaus. Lower officials pay lower sums to ''show their appreciation''.

Based on Graeme Smith's Political Machinations in a Rural County.

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