15 September 2014
Only one man is spearheading the anti-corruption drive in China. He is none other than President Xi Jinping, himself. He has also initiated a number of reforms aimed at increasing the independence and the transparency of the judiciary. This is more relevant at provincial level where the judges are appointed by local leaders and as a result these judges are under their power.
To illustrate the new concept of judicial transparency, in a civil case in which a German company accused a Chinese company of intellectual property theft, foreign diplomats and journalist were invited to attend the trial.
Recently President Xi announced that ruling China by law will be the key theme in the Party plenum in October. Xinhua, the official newspaper commented that rule of law is a must if the country were to make progress in economic growth, clean government, and a stable environment.
Does this signify that the big leaders felled by the anti-corruption drive get a fair trial? Not likely. These will be like the Mao era trials with taped confessions read out publically. These trials will always be politically motivated and will be held behind closed doors.
In another move the Chinese government has taken away the privilege of studying for EMBA (Executive Master of Business Administration) course from senior governmental officials. The course would cost as much as Yuan 600,000 (USD 98,000). The government sources say the EMBA course is suitable for those in the private sector and not for those in the civil service. Some attended the EMBA course simply to gain business contacts or improve their résumé.
This appears to be cost cutting measure rather than an ant-corruption drive. There is no evidence to show that the candidates were chosen not based on merits.
News from the official Xinhua news agency stated that Mr Dai Haibo was removed from a senior post in the Shanghai free-trade zone (FTZ). It was said that he was under investigation for corruption. Mr. Dai ran the day to day business of the FTZ and appeared at news conferences etc. He was also removed from the post of chief of communist party. Shanghai’s free-trade zone was first of its kind in mainland China and was set up as a testing ground for economic reforms such as freer Yuan convertibility and liberalization of interest rates. The zone lifted the cap on foreign exchange deposits, offshore Yuan loans and cross border Yuan settlements.