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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Republics of Asia — Part 2/3

November 13, 2010

Thailand will be the next democracy compared to China.

Transparency.org ranks Thailand’s corruption at 78 — tied with China.  India, which I have written about before, ranks 87th — worse than China.

A Blog about Political Prisoners in Thailand claims that there is no freedom of speech in Thailand. Saying what you feel or think can get you thrown in jail.

Thailand also passed a Computer Crimes act in 2007. The language in one section sounds similar to language in China’s Constitution that Western Critics often complain about

The Asian Human Rights Commission writes that Thailand chained wounded detainees recently under an Emergency Decree. “For many years, the AHRC and other concerned organizations and individuals have voiced outrage at the shackling and otherwise barbaric treatment of accused criminal prisoners in Thailand.”

In May 2010, Reuters reported that Bangkok was being cleaned up after the worst riots in modern history. “At least 54 people were killed and more than 400 injured in the latest bout of violence which began on May 14. Almost 40 buildings in the city were set on fire and the tourism and retail sectors have been devastated.”

In fact, analysts reported, “The political problems are not over….”

About women in Thailand, the 1997 Constitution increased legal protections for women and persons with disabilities. However, some inequities in the law remained and some protections were not enforced. Violence and societal discrimination against women were problems. Societal discrimination against hill tribes and religious and ethnic minorities continued. There were reports of forced labor and child labor. Trafficking in women and children, coerced prostitution and labor were serious problems. Source: U.S. Department of State

We seldom hear about Thailand in the Western media for problems that don’t exist in China. Even when there is turmoil and unrest in Thailand, the news reports in the West are friendlier compared to the language used to report any incident that happens in China.

However, the reason for this soft treatment is obvious since Thailand has had close relations with the United States since the end of the Second World War. Threatened by communist revolutions in neighboring countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos during the Cold War, Thailand actively sought U.S. assistance to contain communist expansion in the region. Source: U.S. Department of State

Return to Republics of Asia — 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.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Everyone Cannot Be Rich – Even in China

October 18, 2010

I read an interesting piece from the Inter Press Service. Antonaneta Becker writes of growing resentment in China of the widening gap between the rich and poor.

She mentions talk of a revolution to redistribute the wealth.

What Becker fails to mention is that in India the poverty and corruption is worse. The Economist for October 2 says, “that China has done a better job than India of curbing corruption…”

China isn’t alone when it comes to bribes and corruption.

Earlier this year in Thailand, unrest over corruption turned deadly resulting in cancelled flights from 40 countries.


In fact, a report in the Asian Journal of Public Administration says, “Corruption is a serious problem in many countries. Indeed, in many parts of the world, corruption has become a way life…”

Becker may not be aware that in 1949 when the Communists came to power, about a million wealthy landowners were executed and land was distributed among the poor. 

With the landowners gone, agriculture broke down resulting in famines that led to the deaths of about 30 million poor Chinese.

Becker is right about China’s central government fearing an uprising among the poor. 

However, rebellions of this nature have happened in China before and most have failed.  During the 19th century, those failures cost more than 30 million lives when the Qing Dynasty showed the world that they still had the mandate to rule.

The best solution is to see that the poor have a house and earn enough to buy food since the price of challenging the mandate to rule is often chaos, anarchy and death.  No one wins.

See Global Censorship and Corruption

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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. 

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.