10 October 2016
Xi Jinping’s high profile anti-corruption campaign has fallen short of its stated goal and appears to be doing more harm than good to the image of China’s Communist party, according to new academic research and an analysis of official statistics.
The Chinese president’s drive against graft, now nearly four years old, is one of the most powerful and far-reaching campaigns in the country since Mao Zedong’s death in 1976. But a new study suggests that it has backfired, with citizens often blaming local graft on the central government rather than on regional authorities, while an FT analysis indicates that the odds of officials being punished for corruption are slim.
“I don’t see any clear political will” to seriously punish corrupt officials at the grassroots level, said Fu Hualing, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong. “Maybe they understand that is probably very destructive if China does that in every county, every district,” he said. “The whole country would probably be in chaos.”... Click here to read the full article.
The Washington Post
6 October 2016
Nine days had passed since Jeff Gillis, at home in Houston, Texas, had last heard from his wife. During that phone call, she told Gillis she was extending her business trip in China, but he grew anxious. He filed a missing person’s report with U.S. consular officials whose response left him flabbergasted: His wife, a business consultant, had been detained by Chinese state security agents almost two weeks earlier.
Now, 18 months later, Phan Phan-Gillis is still detained, charged with spying and awaiting trial in China, consigned to an unknown fate in a highly opaque and impenetrable legal system in which even the charges brought against her remain cloudy. Gillis says that his wife appears to have been accused of spying against China two decades ago, although even her Chinese lawyer says he has been barred by Chinese law from providing details.
Despite the scant information, Gillis has set about trying to prove his 56-year-old wife’s innocence. He hopes documents he has uncovered will help free Phan-Gillis, known as Sandy to friends. Her lawyer says her trial has been postponed indefinitely from its original Sept. 19 court date.
The case speaks to both rising suspicion between Beijing and Washington and China’s drive to pursue those accused of crimes occurring outside its borders. Gillis says part of the charge relates to alleged spying carried out within the United States.
“China probably is now more aggressive in pursuing anyone who can be regarded as harming China’s interests,” said Fu Hualing, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong.
“If they think there’s a violation of Chinese criminal law and the impact is felt within China they are willing to pursue that and they think that they probably have the capacity to do that now,” he said. “Imagine: The case happened in the ‘90s. It’s not like it happened recently.”... Click here to read the full article.