11 December 2014
Many pundits in the West tend to dismiss Chinese President Xi Jinping’s campaign against corruption as politically motivated. They argue that Mr Xi is using the campaign to eliminate his opponents and consolidate power. While there is a certain element of political retribution in the process, the issue is far more complex.
To begin with, far too many mid-ranking and junior officials across the country and from various government and commercial sectors have been swept up in the ongoing drive, with the number reaching 63,000. The scope of the campaign cannot be explained as a mere power struggle. Junior and mid-level officials constitute the bulk of those caught in the anti-corruption dragnet, though such “small fish” pose no threat to Mr Xi and his associates. It is true that senior figures such as China’s former security tsar Zhou Yongkang have fallen, but the majority of those rounded up have been obscure officials.
…Loro Horta is a senior diplomat of Timor Leste based in Beijing and an adjunct fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University. The views expressed in this commentary, which first appeared in RSIS Commentaries, are his own.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 11/12/2014