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‘Chinese Public Should Permit a Moderate Amount of Corruption’

Global Times Chinese logo.

Scan of Chinese editorial in China state newspaper Global Times, the headline reading: Fighting Corruption is a Difficult Battle in the Development of Chinese Society.

One of the most discussed articles on popular Chinese portal site NetEase yesterday, with over 250k participants in the comments section over the day…

From NetEase:

Global Times: People should permit a moderate [or appropriate] amount of corruption in China

It was announced yesterday that former Railway Minister and Party Secretary Liu Zhijun was fired, the issues of his suspected crimes to dealt by judicial authorities in accordance with the law. This piece of news once again touched the public’s most sensitive nerve, that dealing with corruption. From a national perspective, there is indeed continuous news of corrupt officials being sacked, which does give people the feeling that corruption is “unending/overwhelming”. They aren’t catching/arresting less, it’s that you can never catch them all [never finish catching them all]. Just what is going on?

China obviously has a high incidence of corruption, and the conditions for completely eliminating corruption do not exist at present. Some people say, as long as we have “democracy”, the problem of corruption can be easily solved. However, this kind of view is naive. Asia has many “democratic countries”, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, India, etc. where corruption are all much more severe than China. But China may very likely be the Asian country with the most pronounced sense of “resentment towards corruption”.

This is related to China’s “serve the people!” official political morals having deeply been engrained in the people’s heart throughout society. However, the reality is that the market economy has attacked its practicality/feasibility, resulting in an government officials who half-heartedly observe it or have even betrayed it constantly slipping through various crack in the system. China is a country that has been deeply penetrated by globalization and the high standards of integrity of developed countries is already known by the Chinese public, and with information coming from different periods and different circumstances being forcible stuffed into China’s sphere of public opinion, bitterness and consternation can find no relief.

Corruption in any country is unable to be permanently controlled/cured, so the key is to control what the degree that the people will permit/allow. However, to do this is particularly difficult for China.

Singapore and China’s Hong Kong institute a policy of high pay to discourage corruption. Many American political candidates are wealthy, and normally when someone becomes a government official there, they accumulate renown and connections. After office, they can use then various “revolving doors” to change all they have accumulated into financial return. However, these options and possibilities are not available in China.

Giving government officials large salaries is something Chinese public opinion cannot accept. Allowing government officials to step down and use their influence and connections to make big money is something the system does not allow. Allowing the wealthy to become government officials is something that people find even more unpalatable. The legal salaries of China’s government officials is very low, and the compensation for officials of some places is often realized through “unwritten rules”.

All of Chinese society now has some “unwritten rules”. In industries that involve the public welfare such as doctors and teachers, “unwritten rules” have also become popular. Many people’s statutory income isn’t high, but they have “gray income”.

What are the boundaries for “unwritten rules”? This isn’t clear. This is also one of the reason for why there are relatively many corruption cases now, with some even being “cases of a community of corruption”. Amongst the people, there is the popular saying that “what is commonplace amongst the people cannot be punished by the law”, and the moment government officials believe this saying while believing “others are the same as me”, then he is already in danger [of becoming corrupt].

Those who engage in corruption must be strictly investigated, and not to be tolerated, as this would greatly increase the risk and cost of corruption, creating the requisite deterrent effect. The government must make the reduction of corruption the biggest objective of their governance.

The people must resolutely increase supervision through public opinion, pushing the government to fight corruption. However, the people must also reasonably understand the reality and objective fact that China is unable at its present stage to thoroughly suppress the corruption, and not sink the entire country into despair.

Writing this definitely does not mean we believe fighting corruption is not important or should be put off. Quite the opposite, we believe fighting corruption indeed is the number one problem that must be solved for the reform of China’s political system, and it is also the common demand of the entire country.

However, we believe that fighting corruption is not something that can be completely “fought” nor completely “reformed” because at the same time, it needs “development” to help solve it. It is a problem of the individual corrupt officials as well as the system, but that’s not all. It is also a problem of the Chinese society’s “overall level of development”.

Fighting corruption is a difficult/entrenched battle in the development of Chinese society, but its victory at the same time hinges upon the clearing of various obstacles on other battlefields. China can never be a country where other aspects are very backward and only its government officials are clean. Even if it is for a time, it won’t last long. Eliminating corruption would be a breakthrough/turning point for China, but this country ultimately can only “advance overall” [any specific progress requires overall progress/development].

Comments from NetEase:

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网易四川省成都市网友:

Global Shit newspaper.

[Note: The original Chinese comment involves a pun on the word 时 shi, “times” with 屎 shi, “shit”.]

网易河北省保定市网友:

Reporter, you must permit my moderate “go fuck yourself”, you must be understanding.

海哥0 [网易山东省济南市网友]:

There are no less than 8 types of Chinese corrupt officials, and everyone should know these classic types:

  1. Doesn’t have a high salary but has no shortage of money in the bank;
  2. Doesn’t understand a foreign language but has no shortage of trips going abroad;
  3. Doesn’t look handsome but has no shortage of mistresses;
  4. Doesn’t go to work much but has no shortage of social events;
  5. Doesn’t speak well but has no shortage of applause;
  6. Doesn’t write essays/articles but has no shortage of opinions;
  7. Doesn’t have any skill but has no shortage of winning money;
  8. Doesn’t handle things fairly but has no shortage of collecting money.

戴三只表 [网易广东省广州市网友]:

After seeing the news of a Philippine Chief Justice being impeached for concealing millions in assets, I now know the reason for why the Imperialist Philippines is a strong country.

夜風長嘆 [网易广东省广州市越秀区网友]:

Can Global Times please not be so disgusting?

蓝色多瑙河123 [网易北京市朝阳区网友]:

Corruption should be given the support of the law.

网易上海市闵行区网友:

I only want to say: Your MB.

Lohengramm [网易安徽省合肥市网友]:

Can I use profanity?

z09261 [网易云南省昆明市网友]:

From a national perspective, there is indeed continuous news of corrupt officials being sacked, which does give people the feeling that corruption is “unending/overwhelming”. They aren’t catching/arresting less, it’s that you can never catch them all [finish catching them all]. Just what is going on?

滥情的钕秂酒醉慯 [网易广东省深圳市罗湖区网友]:

Actually, without corruption, some things may not be able to be done or would be delayed, so we can’t just look at the superficial corruption but should look at the essence of the matter. As a person, those who are officials have also expended their efforts, so them having suitable compensation is appropriate. We can’t demand that only we can have money and government officials be uncorrupted…

打一光波 [网易陕西省西安市网友]: (responding to above)

I have nothing to say to a big stupid cunt like you, I only want to yell at you.

dbl128 [网易江苏省宿迁市网友]:

From so many netizen comments we can see just how much the people resent corruption.

1614353381 [网易福建省福州市网友]: (responding to above)

It’s all American running dogs and wumao commenting, this doesn’t represent anything, just people posting for money.

ge2008sh2010 [网易浙江省宁波市网友]: (responding to above)

So anyone posting a comment is collecting money for it? SBs have no limit to how stupid they can be!!!

订婚坐花轿 [网易甘肃省兰州市网友]: (responding to 1614353381)

Global Times: People should permit a moderate amount of corruption in China===========Can poor people with low wages moderately go rob a bank?

纯真的流氓 [网易广东省中山市网友]: (responding to above)

Trying to speak reason with this Fujian wumao is like playing a lute to a cow/casting pearls before swine.

lain520 [网易福建省漳州市网友]: (responding to above)

On the issue of corruption, I don’t think there has ever been a divide between American running dogs and wumao! It seems to be very unanimous~~

易江苏省常州市网友: (responding to above)

Would wumao dare accuse their masters of being corrupt?

潜风润梦 [网易河南省郑州市网友]:

Moderate, moderate, what great wording! However, can one talk about moderation in corruption? As long as it is corruption, it is all excessive.

网易北京市网友:

The discussion is very intense, but even if you criticize it, so what, nothing will change.

Best白 [网易重庆市网友]:

Bullshit, then the people should be allowed to choose their own government officials.

泪惊雨 [网易广东省广州市海珠区网友]:

When it comes to corruption, zero-tolerance! Only this way will the country’s people have hope!

shangqiuzhoukou [网易河南省商丘市网友]:

Global Times has let out a stench of a fart, practically encouraging corruption, legalizing corruption. This kind stinking fart has fully revealed how completely and ridiculously brain dead some people are. With such brain dead, shameless recording of their crimes, let history forever remember their shamelessness!

心不古 [网易上海市长宁区网友]:

My IQ can no longer keep up with this country. Once again I’ve been raped.

emosai2003 [网易广东省广州市天河区网友] 的原贴: (responding to above)

It stopped being rape long ago and became gang rape.

猴子洛克 [网易黑龙江省伊春市网友] 的原贴: (responding to above)

Doesn’t count if a condom is worn, stupid! [Refers to an infamous 2011 case where police told a Guizhou teacher she was not raped because the government official wore a condom.]

心中无马 [网易辽宁省大连市网友] 的原贴: (responding to above)

The people should permit moderate amounts of not wearing a condom, the people should be understanding…

蝗虫之一 [网易广东省佛山市网友]: (responding to above)

The rabble should permit moderate law-breaking?

liushizhou1981 [网易浙江省绍兴市网友]: (responding to above)

I wonder if they’d allow the rabble to moderately go kill corrupt officials!

网易广东省广州市网友:

NetEase, the headquarters of American running dogs.
Isn’t this report an intentional slandering of Global Times?
This kind of article is just an individual’s commentary/opinion, comparable to someone posting a personal comment on NetEase or Weibo.
But NetEase casually attributes it as the view of Global Times!
This just goes to show how those in the same industry are like enemy nations.

This isn’t the first time Global Times has been slandered by NetEase, nor does Global Times always sing praises [of China].
Under Global Times is a periodical called Satire and Humor, which has been needling social ills for decades now.
It has even attacked some unpopular government policies.
Social problems that netizens are concerned about, they have that too.
Internet netizens even often forward and repost comics/political cartoons from there [Global Times].

Global Times’ original headline is “Fighting corruption is a difficult battle in the development of Chinese society”, and in the article is “Writing this definitely does not mean we believe fighting corruption is not important or should be put off. Quite the opposite, we believe fighting corruption indeed is the number one problem that must be solved for the reform of China’s political system, and it is also the common demand of the entire country.”

Sina and Sohu both republished this, but they didn’t change the title. But when it came to NetEase, it became “The People should permit a moderate amount of corruption in China”. The motives of NetEase is clear for everyone to see!

Netizen comments only reflect netizen’s individual views, it doesn’t mean NetEase agrees with their views or verifies their narratives, but if [NetEase] continues to delete comments, it definitely can makes it clear just what NetEase’s position is.
At the same time, may the entire family of those deleting comments all get cancer!

NetEase, NetEase, you won’t even let me NOT criticize you, you changed the title yet again! Just how different is “The People should be understanding of the phenomenon of corruption in China’s present stage [of development]” and “The People should permit a moderate amount of corruption in China”! This was someone else’s commentary article, regardless of whether or not you agree with the viewpoint, but if it were your own article being altered, would you agree to others falsifying your title by taking something out of context?

Note: The title of the article on NetEase was indeed changed during translation of this article and the above selected comments.

What do you think of the Global Times editorial?

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

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