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PUNISHMENT: Hard-line policies are rigorously enforced. Photo: iStockphoto

Doing China’s dirty work

With US and Australian investigators’ enthusiastic assistance, China is tracking down corrupt officials’ ill-gotten gains; but the playbook calls for a familiar ending.

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Perth
Joseph, we don't know whether Xi is cracking down on corruption for the sake of cracking down on corruption or strengthening his own power. Maybe it is a combination of both. But I can see there is fundamental justice in bringing those corrupt officials to account. Why should they be able to live off the wealth they stole in a safe locale like Australia. Does Gaddafi come to mind? Xi's campaign can be distinguished from Mao's purging when the line was drawn along ideology. I don't think history is repeating itself here, it just rhymes.

James, isn't it revealing that the communist party's bosses are only ever concerned about punishing so-called corruption when it's in their political interest? What a pity that the great Chinese civillization's humanist Confucian tradition has been so viciously targeted by present day China's totalitarians. Until that is reversed, China's future is bleak. Joseph Poprzeczny

Perth
James, I have a good and learned friend who, during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was subjected to a humiliating Kangaroo Court ordeal during which he was charged with have embraced heretical, indeed, anti-proletarian, ideas. All he had in fact done was question why some of Mao Tse-tung’s closest comrades, including Liu Shao-chi, were being publicly attacked across the country. As a result my friend was publicly condemned and subsequently sentenced to two years hard labour in the country where he was compelled to take care of pigs. Some years later, when his skills were needed by the China of Deng Hsiao-ping he was rehabilitated and eventually continued his studies even outside China where he subsequently settled and is now a retired academic who maintains close contact with expert observers of developments in present day China. Last week I forward by email him a copy of my column as well as your response. Here are his comments:- “Most of the Chinese people I talk to are puzzled by Xi. “He seems bent on ‘striking corruption’. “The problem is that no one, absolutely no one, in the party’s officialdom or hierarchy is squeaky clean. “Where will he stop? “More importantly - what are the new game rules that he'll make for China’s Communist Party (CCP)? “The situation is complicated by Xi’s uncompromising Maoist stand on ideology. “For years the CCP leadership was haunted by the most difficult question in the Chinese Universe, viz. what should be more powerful - the CCP or the Law? “Liberal-minded people always pinned their last hope on the CCP recognizing the supremacy of the Law, and previous leaders all evaded this ideological minefield. “But now this question has been solved by Xi. “At a top-level party conference last month [January 2015], the New Paramount Leader, Emperor. and Pope, all in One, dismissed the question as being a false one - worthless, trivial, or sinister, since the Party is the Law, and the Law is the Party. “Full stop.” James, as a man who is focused on the law and legality I am sure you appreciate the full significant of this stance. Joseph Poprzeczny.

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