China: Report Corruption and Lose Your Job

A kinder garden teacher exposed the school management after they swindled with the children’s lunch money and tucked it straight into their own pockets. Management walked but the teacher was fired.

A teacher unveiled how local officials had earned a fortune when they sold the commune’s property. He was fired, expelled from the Communist Party, and arrested by the police.

Corruption is illegal in China but it is very common. The Communist Party and the authorities overlap to such an extent that the critical control disappears.

70 percent of corruption reporters persecuted

Party management in Beijing recognizes this as a big problem, and it encourages Chinese citizens to report the corrupt workers and officials.

That is, however, risky business, because quite often those reported are able to punish the people who turned them in – without facing any consequences.

About 70 percent of those who report corruption are persecuted afterwards. A magazine published by the Ministry of Justice in Beijing writes this and the numbers come from the Supreme Court.

Fewer people use online hotline
In 2001, authorities set up a system that made it possible for Chinese to report corruption online. However, the number of cases has dropped steadily, because people are afraid that their email addresses can be traced by the officials being reported.

Even so, the Supreme Court has received 290,000 online reports, which accuse more than 7000 party workers and officials ranging from county level and above, a Court employee says.

Because of the persecutions, many people are now reporting the cases anonymously. In the Jiangxi province alone, approximately 60 percent of all reports have been made anonymously over the past two years.

But that is not good enough, says a Professor of Law at Shenzhen University, Zou Pingxue. He has sent a letter to the National People’s Congress and encouraged it to pass a law that protects reporters from persecution.

“If that doesn’t happen, the public will be too scared to fight the extensive corruption that is ravaging all of China,” the Law Professor says.

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