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Chinese politics (Essay Sample)


Two major issues that threaten China’s social, economic and political stability in the 21st century are government corruption and environmental degradation. Analyzing these trends, and clarifying why they might threaten China’s peace and prosperity


Chinese politics
Since Chinese reform plus opening up guiding principles started in the 1970s, this great nation’s average yearly economic growth rate can be termed as phenomenal. At present, only Unites States’ gross domestic product surpasses that of China with the country proud to be the global largest importer and exporter. Along with such remarkable achievements, people have predicted that this century is China’s. As a matter of fact, there has been a considerable increase in China’s position in both regional plus global governance and development (Yunling, 2012). This has also coincided with projection that China will soon outshine the United States as a global leader, and the notion is dubbed China Threat. Evidently, the country has attained significant strides towards prosperity both regionally and globally. However, questions remain regarding long-term sustainability in terms of economic growth. More so, the issues of corruption plus environmental degradation continue to trouble the country. In fact, they cast a dark shadow over the country’s future.
Combating corruption and related activities is possibly among the toughest mission ahead because it necessitates politically challenging reforms eschewed by the country for fear of depressing the supremacy of some political parties. It is understood that for a long time, Beijing has avoided combating corruption with full force out of fear of undermining CCP (Chinese Communist Party). However, without intensifying the fight against official corrupt activities, the nation runs many risks as far as prosperity is concerned. Indeed, the experiences of burgeoning countries illustrate that runaway corruption destabilizes critical government institutions as well as massive economic distortions. In addition, it also threatens the country’s peace through fuelling public resentment all of which magnifies the dangers of full-blown crisis. Inevitably, the failure and or reluctance to contain official corruption endangers the country’s economic development. It is worth noting that measuring corruption is rather difficult as a result of its illicit nature. In China’s scenario, the widespread lack of transparency increases the challenge. Nonetheless, official audits, public perceptions, official anti-corruption information, press reports as well as estimates based on global trends indicate that China’s corruption is not only pervasive but also costly.
For instance, China’s NAA (National Audit Agency) offered measurement of corruption in the country for the duration between 1996 and 2005. Its report revealed that up to 1.2 trillion yuan –approximately $170 billion- was misspent and misappropriated. Such figure emerged due to corrupt plus illegal activities including setting up slush funds, overstating staff numbers, collecting illegal fees as well as misappropriating special funds. Basing on this measure, several reports indicated that the misappropriated funds represented approximately 8 percent of the entire budget for that duration (Pei, 2006). As mentioned earlier, such trends do not bond well with a country supposedly in the process of becoming a super power. Everyday press reports regarding high-profile scandals casts a gloomy shadow of corruption in the nation. The amount of funds stolen by perpetrators has increased exponentially with the flourishing economy. Worryingly, Chinese corruption is concentrated in agencies/sectors with broad state involvement. This includes infrastructural projects, financial services, government procurement plus heavily regulated industries. In essence, the government has either been reluctant or shows failure in combating corruption. The lack of a competitive political system plus a free press makes the high risk sectors/ agencies even more prone to corrupt activities such as bribery, theft, fraud plus kickbacks.
On the whole, the pervasiveness of corruption is manifested in the downfall of several officials in charge of critical sectors. The abrupt dismissal of a member of the powerful CCP in 2006, for instance, reveals the extent of corruption in government circles. C Liangyu was dismissed due to alleged involvement in scandals (Pei, 2006). Alarmingly, much of his case remain murky due to cover ups and reluctance by the government to act accordingly. Casual observers may be impressed with the country’s seemingly punitive measures against corruption. Indeed, it is tempting to write off the deleterious consequences of corruption in China given the high economic growth. Unfortunately, such opinions do not match up with either the country’s reality or historical truth. First, the overall costs of corruption are massive and the direct economic loss represents huge transfer of wealth to a small percentage of elites. The ever-rising transfer is fuelling China’s swift rise in socio-economic inequality as well as the public’s opinion of social injustice. Also, the indirect costs associated with corruption (efficiency losses, credibility of key institutions, damages to education and public health) are incalculable. Worth noting is that these ills are already manifesting themselves in Chinese society. At the local level, corruption contributes to tens of thousands of violence and or riots each year thus undermining social stability. It also contributes to deterioration of services as well as the rising costs of healthcare, education plus housing. It would be wrong to conclude that the country’s system possess an infinite capacity to soak up the escalating costs of corruption. Ruling leaders perceived by the public as incorrigibly corrupt plus self-serving will ultimately enjoy little popularity thus leading to major crisis including revolutions. All in all, China’s financial plus social stability is at increased risk due to endemic corruption.
However, the most treacherous menace of corruption is invisible. This is because endemic corruption gradually increases China’s systemic risks. Worth noting is that the spillover impacts of corrupt activities contribute to environmental degradation including toxic effluents into major ecosystem. Indeed, corruption in this country has been associated with corruption. Fraud in project approvals including failure to institute emission control policies has been associated with environmental degradation. According to Lague (2006), senior environmental officials in the country disclosed that a government analysis into pollution control had established violation in about 40 percent cases. In essence, the country is not much into measures to mitigate environmental degradation. The conflict between environmental protection and economic prosperity is well documented in the country. In most cases, nations experiencing exponential economic growth give environmental matters little or no attention. Fraud in project approval becomes a common theme as many projects pass their environmental review without meeting the required criteria. The main challenge to China in terms of prosperity is water. This is because the nation is faced with the twin issues of water pollution and shortage. Often, pictures of the country display watery plus green landscapes. H...
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