China’s corruption culture

Richard McGregor, in his book, The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers provides the answer. “China may be deeply corrupt, but corrupt regimes can last a long time. The Chinese officials who do get arrested for graft generally fall into two categories, or sometimes both. They are the losers in political power struggles, or their corruption has been so outrageous that it embarrasses the system, and thereby jeopardises the game for everyone else. Corruption in China seems to operate more like a transaction tax that distributes ill-gotten gains among the ruling class. In that respect, it becomes the glue that keeps the system together.”