Combating Corruption: China’s Latest Initiative

12.29.2005

It seems that executions of public officials for taking bribes in China are doing little to deter corruption there.  As corruption remains rampant, the country continues to search for ways to get it under control.  The latest initiative – a public website, where citizens can expose corrupt government officials.  Here is the actual website

While this measure, by no means, will be able to curb corruption without other efforts, I think its a very important one and has a great potential.  Access to information is essential in anti-corruption initiatives and a similar website established with CIPE’s help in Latin America has been quite successful.  That network, Periodistas Frente a la Corrupción (PFC) (Journalists Against Corruption) provided more than 600 journalists from all over the region with an opportunity to publish stories about corrupt politicians.  You can read more about it here and today the program is simply Probidad.  

It remains to see what kind of quality control will be there in China and how will the government respond to the complaints by citizens.  It would be interesting to see the system improved so that there are sections where journalists can publish factual reports on corruption – this could help prevent the website from turning into a forum flooded only with unjustified complaints by citizens.  In either case, I am eager to see how this website initiative plays out.