China vs. Itself. The Perpetual War Against Corruption

Charles Bingman

Abstract


The compelling task of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) after the disasters of the Maoist regime was to reform both the economy and the instruments of government toward a set of far more effective institutions. Chinese governments and indeed all of China’s society had been perverted by the commune movement so that it was not until Mao died in 1976 that the successor political leadership could safely begin a purge of government structure, procedures and workforce. The CCP finally realized that it had created a monster – truly the worst government in the world. One of the great truths for the Chinese people is the fact that, whatever their dissatisfactions with their current government, everything – everything – was far worse under Mao.
The Maoist mess existed at all government levels: national, provincial, township, county and municipality. Three things were critical: first, the amateur apparatus of communes, collectives, work brigades and so forth had quietly to be dismantled with a minimum of political turmoil. Second, thousands of local governments had to build up sturdier and more professional local administrations, capable of taking on a far more complex range of public responsibilities. But this had to be accomplished in a country in which few had an adequate education, and more than 80% were still illiterate. Third, the whole financial system of revenues, expenditures and management of the flow of funds had to be gotten under control.

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