Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Historic Corruption in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 3, 2011


Here is an excerpt from a book about China. The author wrote this over 100 years ago but it is still true today.

“The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)

“Neither do any officials in China, high or low, receive salaries, although absurdly inadequate sums are allocated by the Government for that purpose, for which it is considered prudent not to apply. The Chinese system is to some extent the reverse of our own. Our officials collect money and pay it into the Treasury, from which source fixed sums are returned to them as salaries. In China, the occupants of petty posts collect revenue in various ways, as taxes or fees, pay themselves as much as they dare, and hand up the balance to a superior officer, who in turn pays himself in the same sense, and again hands up the balance to his superior officer. When the viceroy of a province is reached, he too keeps what he dares, sending up to the Imperial exchequer in Peking just enough to satisfy the powers above him. There is thus a continual check by the higher grade upon the lower, but no check on such extortion as might be practised upon the tax-payer.
==========

-1889

2 Responses to “Historic Corruption in China”

  1. Richard Seeto said

    This is an old history of corruption practised in China in times past. What do the poster try to intimate with this stunt? Corruption in endemic in US politics and US society, why do we need an American to dig up past sordid history to refresh our memories and for what purpose? Please explain.

    • wtdevflnt said

      Hello and thanks for the comment. Maybe my post was unclear.
      What I meant to say that the phenomenon that the author of the book observed 120 years ago is being practiced in an almost identical fashion today, which makes me think China will never be free from corruption.
      As an example, read the following, it was written in 1890, substitute the communist party in the text and it is also true today.
      “In China, the occupants of petty posts (communist party officials/village officials of today) collect revenue in various ways, as taxes or fees, pay themselves as much as they dare, and hand up the balance to a superior officer (communist party officials), who in turn pays himself in the same sense, and again hands up the balance to his superior officer (communist party officials). When the viceroy of a province (more powerful communist party official) is reached, he too keeps what he dares, sending up to the Imperial exchequer (biggest communist party officials) in Peking (Beijing) just enough to satisfy the powers above him

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