Corrupt Means to End Corruption?

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“Zhou Wangyan says his leg was broken by interrogators in China’s secretive detention center in fall 2012. In January 2014, he still uses crutches to stand.”

To follow up on my previous post regarding corruption and embezzlement in R&D public-private partnerships, NPR reports on some disturbing elements of Xi Jinping’s fight against corruption. Does Mr. Xi believe the ends justify the means, even if that entails using fire to fight fire, so to speak?

Using the extra-legal, intra-party detention and interrogation system known as shangghui, “experts estimate at least several thousand people are secretly detained every year for weeks or months under an internal system that is separate from state justice,” according to an AP report by Gillian Wong. He first reported the story of a local party official, Zhou Wangyen, who claims he faced torture at the hands of the Communist Party.

The question is: are these harsh measures warranted, given the entrenched and ubiquitous nature of corruption within China?

More from NPR

6 Responses to Corrupt Means to End Corruption?

  1. Yeah, one of President Xi’s goal is to get rid of corruption. However, I am not sure if its possible. China was ranked 80th out of 178 countries, with the score of 40 out of 100, in 2013. ( It will take certain among of time and effort to solve this problem.

  2. I don’t believe a corrupt means will achieve ending corruption in the state. Although corruption is certainly a problem in China, expressed in the various political embezzlement scandals that have plagued the media in past years, using corrupt law enforcement creates fear and distrust in the government which will encourage people from being honest and probably encouraging more corruption in the future.

  3. I agree with the statement above. Combatting corruption in China has to be supported by public opinion and done in a transparent way. A key to fostering this change here is increased government transparency with a free and independent press.

  4. It will be interesting to see if the way the Chinese government is going about eliminating corruption out of the public eye will work. Although in light of the highly publicized case against Zhou Yongkang, it may seem the government is attempting to make the process more public.

  5. Westermann brings up a solid point in regards to having a free press is the key to cracking down on government corruption. Although, America has free press as well, but it has one of the most corrupt governments in the world.

  6. Fighting corruption is popular. On criminal matters, and many others, laws and courts are not very effective – and in a one-party state, how can something be “extralegal” in a meaningful way??? and does that make it unethical, or merely different from how we’d do things?