Looking at Corruption: China vs. the United States

September 24, 2013

During National Library Week a few years ago, I attended the Golden Leaves event at Cal Poly Pomona’s University Library. Afterwards, I joined a conversation about China, and one American citizen who had never been to China mentioned the corruption in China and how flawed their legal system was. He was adamant that China had to change and become more democratic. He also said there were a lot of angry people in China who wanted change—how did he know that?

However, there are two sides to every story, and “While the true extent and cost of white-collar crime (in the United States) are unknown, it is estimated to cost the United States more than $300 billion annually, according to the FBI.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Wall Street corruption and greed in America that caused the 2007/08 global financial crises may have led to global losses of at least $15 Trillion.

In addition, a United Nations report says that by the end of 2009, the global increase in jobless persons was 27 million more than in 2007 before the financial crises hit—should we say, “Thank you, America?”

What about China?

The Economist’s View says, “For one thing, the Chinese trust their government more. According to a recent World Values Survey, 96.7 percent of Chinese expressed confidence in their government, compared to only 37.3 percent of Americans.

“Likewise, 83.5 percent of Chinese thought their country is run for all the people, rather than for a few big interest groups, whereas only 36.7 percent of Americans thought the same of their country. With this relatively higher trust, China’s government and enterprises are better able to enact and implement strict policies that promote saving and growth.”

I wonder if all the greed and corruption in China will ever threaten the global economy and cost millions of people jobs.

And what about corruption in India, the democracy next door to China? We seldom if ever hear anyone criticizing India for corruption. However, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ranks India as more corrupt than China. In fact, there are 108 countries of 183 listed as more corrupt than China.

Why does the Western media focus so much attention on China when it comes to the topic of corruption while mostly ignoring the 108 countries worse than China? I mean, even Thailand—a staunch US ally—is more corrupt than China, and Mexico is worse than Thailand and India!

Discover China’s Holistic Historical Timeline

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline

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The Danger of False Truths – Part 2/3

July 22, 2011

My “old” friend said, “It isn’t the fact that China has crooks, every nation has them. However, the degree of corruption in China is simply breathtaking. But not unexpected due to the fact it’s an oligarchy with strict censorship of anything deemed inappropriate by the ones who are the most open to corruption.”

My reply was to refer him to Transparency International, which identifies itself as the global coalition against corruption. The results are worth reading and provide compelling evidence that my “old” friend may be wrong since many democracies, according to Transparency International, are more corrupt than China.

Transparency International’s 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index shows that nearly three quarters of the 178 countries in the index score below five, on a scale from 10 (highly clean) to 0 (highly corrupt).”

Of 178 countries ranked for corruption, China tied with seven for a rank of 78 and a score of 3.5.  The countries China tied with were Colombia, Greece, Lesotho, Peru, Serbia and Thailand.

If you check the list of Electoral Democracies, you will discover that Greece, Peru, and Serbia are on it and many other electoral democracies have a lower rank than China.

For example, Argentina is ranked 105 with a score of 2.9.

India, often touted as the world’s largest democracy, is ranked 87th with a score of 3.3 and is home to a third of the world’s people that live in severe poverty.

In fact, according to Economy Watch, India’s underground economic corruption is believed to be 50% of the country’s GDP or $640 billion US dollars at the end of 2008.

Mexico is ranked 98 with a score of 3.1.

The Ukraine is ranked 134 with a score of 2.4.

The most telling evidence is Singapore, which did not make the Electoral Democracy list. However, Singapore shares 1st place with Denmark and New Zealand as the three countries with the least corruption in the world.

Qatar was ranked 19th and is an Emirate, which is similar to a monarchy or sultanate, but a government in which the supreme power is in the hands of an emir (the ruler of a Muslim state).

The US rank was 22 with a score of 7.1, which is a C- (good but not perfect).

The reason those 16,000 to 18,000 Chinese crooks fled China for mostly the US was because if caught, they would probably be executed.

In the US, all these crooks have to do is pay taxes then reap the rewards of their corruption in a land where more people go to prison than any country on earth. After all, Bonnie and Clyde are folk heroes in the US with a Hollywood movie.

Continued on July 23, 2011 in The Danger of False Truths – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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