May 30, 2006
China's Trapped Transition
Pei's thesis seems to be that the most likely force of change that will sweep China next will not come via power distributed through gradual wealth building, nor through an orderly ceding of power by the central government. He argues that change will be catastrophic, triggered by a critical mass of local corruption.
From Pei's related article in Foreign Policy:
In their confessions, corrupt officials often blame their misdeeds on a loss of faith in communism. There is anecdotal evidence that senior party officials have taken to consulting fortune-tellers about their political careers. The ruling elite in China, it appears, is drifting and insecure. Fearful about what the future may hold, some officials do not want to wait even a few years to turn their power into wealth. In 2002, almost 20 percent of the officials prosecuted for bribery and nearly 30 percent of those punished for abuse of power were younger than 35.... China has seen its future leaders, and a disproportionate number of them are on the take.
Interesting.Posted by David at May 30, 2006 06:26 PM
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