Literature Review

在文檔中 習近平「打虎」:反貪抑或肅敵? - 政大學術集成 (頁 13-21)

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.2. Literature Review

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on the tiger list. Does this imply an element of factional politics in Xi’s corruption fighting? Is Xi Jinping actually fighting corruption, or merely fighting his enemies?

This is the question of this thesis. The cadres under study are those at or above vice-provincial level and were brought down in Xi Jinping’s tiger hunt from November 2012 to March 2015. The thesis focuses only on the most high-ranking corruption cases because they are more “political” than thousands of lower-ranking cases. A study on these tigers is expected to tell us more about the factional dynamics, if any, in anticorruption.

The time scope of this thesis serves theoretical purposes. The early stage of an autocrat’s rule is a period of uncertainties. On one hand, the new autocrat attempts to consolidate his power among regime elites and set new parameters (or as Xi himself calls them, the “New Normal”, 新常態, xin changtai) for the rest of his tenure, pointing out the direction he shall lead his country toward. On the other, the autocracy is relatively vulnerable to challenges from both regime elites and the general public.

These challenges can be legitimate – from the regime’s perspective – like formal impeachment; they can also be illegitimate, like coup d’etat of military officers or revolution by the people. It is a period of unsettled equilibrium of political dynamics and it is extraordinarily interesting to see what role anticorruption campaign plays in this process.

1.2. Literature Review

There are many approaches to the definition of corruption, but it is most commonly defined in a behavior-classifying way. (Johnston, 1996) In general, corruption is defined as the abuse of public offices deviating from formal rules and norms in order to serve private ends. (Huntington, 1968; Manion, 2004; Wedeman, 2012; Fackler &

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Lin, 1995) This definition has a counterpart in the Chinese language: yi quan mou si (以權謀私). (Tu, 2012) The “private ends” hereof are not limited to individual interest.

They also include those of one’s close family or private clique. (Nye, 1967)

Corruption in communist China draws wide attention from political scientists and abundant research has been done in a variety of issues. First, scholars dig into archives to study the history of corruption inside the revolutionary party. Second, corruption has presented itself in a fairly evolutionary way in the reform era, and many studies describe how corruption develops in contemporary China and its relationship with economic growth. Third, scholars try to illustrate what cause corruption, and more specifically which political factors contribute to the occurrence of corruption in China. Fourth, there is a policy demand for effective countermeasures to fight corruption and some scholars dedicate their work in putting forward proper advice. Last but certainly not least, political scientists are interested in the political motivation behind anticorruption efforts, whose patterns are particularly shaped by the regime’s legitimacy consideration.

Historically, the battle against corruption of CCP dates back to its very birth. On August 4, 1926, CCP issued its first anticorruption policy paper after an extended meeting of Central Committee, which gave the direction to eliminate all corrupt cadres from the party. (Institute of Discipline Inspection and Supervision, 2002) In the first years after CCP took power in mainland China, the party launched a series of anticorruption battles, e.g. “Three Anti” (三反, san fan) and “Five Anti” (五反, wu

fan). Chuanli Wang (2004) and Zhimin Shang (2003) both point out that these battles

successfully suppressed overuse of public assets for cadres’ personal comfort and drove corruption issue off the list of CCP’s major concerns in the decades to come.

It is widely agreed, however, that increasing corruption has turned a most profound

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problem for the regime ever since the economic reform and opening-up. Julia Kwong (1997) suggests that this issue is partly responsible for the Tiananmen movement in 1989. Zengke He (2003) provides a calculation of corruption case number that increases by 20% annually between 1979 and 2001. It is estimated by Angang Hu (2001) that corruption leads to economic loss that is worth about 13.2% to 16.8% of China’s total GDP in the late 1990s. In Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, Chinese mainland is the 83rd cleanest among 168 economies in 2015, the 100th among 175 economies in 2014, and the 80th among 177 in 2013.8

Scholars present various directions in which corruption grows. Andrew Wedeman (2004) summarizes the trends that corruption in China is enduring a qualitative change as high-level, high-stakes corruption is increasing more rapidly than other forms of official malfeasance. But in his more recent work, Wedeman (2012) also reminds us that corruption cases, in the measurement of cumulative frequency and increase rate, reach a peak in the mid-1990s and have been kept at a high yet stable level in the 21st century. Yong Guo (2008) makes similar observations. In answering which fields are most prone to corruption, Ting Gong and Muluan Wu (2012) identify government procurement, construction contracting, land transaction and personnel management as the most vulnerable areas.

Corruption is developing in Chinese bureaucracy in certain patterns. Zengke He (2003) finds that the problem does not only erode across functional units of government but also spreads itself upward to the top level of state apparatus. Yong Guo (2008) and Andrew Wedeman (2009) suggest that high-level officials are able to evade from disciplinary inspection for a longer period in the 2000s than in earlier time, and Qian Tu (2012) furthers the point that many of them even get promoted concurrently with their corrupt acts. Both Zengke He (2003) and Yong Guo (2008) reveal that corrupt

8 The Corruption Perceptions Index is retrieved from http://www.transparency.org/research/cpi/

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cadres do not act alone. In many cases, the entire unit (單位, danwei) is compromised because a considerable proportion of unit staff conspire together led by their cadres in charge – so-called “nest cases” (窩案, wo an).

Wedeman (2012) labels the post-Mao era as a tale of two Chinas: one of economic miracle and the other of rapidly worsening corruption. This paradox poses a theoretical challenge to scholars. (Nie, Zhang & Jiang, 2014) Huntington (1968) explains that corruption helps economy by allowing business to surmount laws and regulations that are too rigid and over-centralized by an ineffective government. The finding of Chuanli Wang (2001) seems to confirm this mechanism because corruption in China grows along with the overall socio-economic development in the 1990s.

Xing Ni and Shan Shan Chen (2013) arrive at the opposite findings, though. They study the 15 vice-provincial-level municipalities9 and find that economic growth has an effect of restraining corruption in these areas of early development.

Students of politics attribute corruption in China to many causes, mostly related to the tremendous social changes in the course of economic and political reforms.

Cross-national studies suggest that developing or transition countries, especially those with low income and poor economic openness, are prone to corruption. (Svensson, 2005) Huntington (1968) takes Britain and America to exemplify that corruption tends to be at a high point when the country endures the intensest modernization. The change of basic values, creation of new sources of wealth and power and expansion of government and regulation contribute to corruption.

As for China, in particular, many works point to the market economic reforms in which rent-seeking opportunities come along and the lag of political reform. Yong

9 The 15 vice-provincial-level municipalities are Guangzhou, Wuhan, Harbin, Shenyang, Chengdu, Nanjing, Xi’an, Changchun, Jinan, Hangzhou, Dalian, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Xiamen, and Ningbo.

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Guo (2006) refers to the transitional nature of contemporary China’s economy as the root cause of corruption. Guo (2008) studies 594 reported cases during 1978-2005 and concludes four major causes: marketization and economic opening-up; fiscal and administrative decentralization; privatization; and globalization. Yiping Wu (2008) uses provincial data from 1993 to 2001 and identifies a significant positive correlation between fiscal decentralization and level of corruption. Songliang Yang and Shu Keng (2011) provide an inverse causality, however. They base their study on provincial data from 1989 to 2000 and suggest that fiscal decentralization has a negative impact on corruption. According to Yang and Keng, it is the increasing proportion of infrastructure investment in total public spending that contributes to the growth of corruption. From the perspective of civil servants, Angang Hu and Yong Guo (2002) conclude that a rational self-interested official is expected to act corruptly for two major reasons: low formal income in the current salary system and low risk of exposure and punishment. Qian Tu (2012) underlines the role of low income in civil service and Xing Ni and Shan Shan Chen’s (2013) empirical data also suggest that reasonable relative salary helps reduce corruption.

Morality matters too. Huning Wang (1990), a former political scientist and now an incumbent member of Politburo, emphasizes the significance of moral decay of cadres and nationals. They are under the influence of both traditional clientelism and emerging money worship in the market economy. Qingyu Ma (2002) specifically discusses how Chinese culture of informal rules (潛規則, qian guize) affects modern corruption.

Political institutions are often held responsible. In the analysis by Samual Huntington (1968), he highlights China as an example of centralized bureaucracy, a type that is more prone to corruption in general. The CCP regime is highly horizontally centralized at each administrative level. Qian Tu (2012) calls for power checking in

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China’s unitary power structure where party committees hold the monopoly over the process of policymaking, implementation, and supervision. The monopoly hinders effective anticorruption.

Party cadres are politically incentivized to corrupt in the CCP regime. Xiaobo Lü (2000) gives a theoretical framework with the core concept of “organizational involution”. CCP fails to adapt to routinization and maintain its revolutionary competence and identity. The party members, therefore, seek to adjust through traditional modes of operation that gives rise to a patrimonial regime. Samual Huntington (1968) sees corruption as a compensation for the lack of political standing and promotion prospects of low-level cadres, and Simon Fan and Herschel Grossman (2000) further argue that corruption is a substitute motive for cadres to take on entrepreneurship in developing local economy.

Some arrangements in cadre management affect level of corruption. Xing Ni and Shan Shan Chen (2013) confirm a positive correlation between level of corruption and tenure length of the municipal party chief. Gang Chen and Shu Li (2012) and Yijiang Wang, Wei Chi and Wenkai Sun (2008) find that post exchange (崗位交流, gangwei

jiaoliu) helps reduce corruption yet outsider succession (異地調任, yidi diaoren)

leads to a rather complicated result.

Government size can be a factor, as suggested by Xing Ni and Shan Shan Chen (2013) that the relationship between number of government employees and level of corruption reveals itself in an inverted U curve. Larger government size has a mixed effect on corruption level: positive effect by more rent-seeking, and negative effect by the affluence of public service.

What measures can effectively deter corruption? As a general rule, Robert Nowak

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(2001) suggests that democracy, economic openness and, most importantly, growth tend to help but only in a slow manner. Zengke He (2000) agrees with Nowak that democratic political reform is essential in any serious fight against corruption, while Yan Sun and Michael Johnston (2009) find democracy ineffective in checking corruption based on their comparative study of China and India.

Most policy advice focuses on institutional design. Scholars like Qian Tu (2012) and Huihua Nie and Zhihui Tong (2014) underline power checking and supervision.

Others suggest that the incentive structure of cadres for corruption should be manipulated. Angang Hu and Yong Guo (2002) take the amplification of risk of being caught as the most decisive measure, while Melanie Manion (2004) suggests that the government should reduce the payoff of corrupt acts and make the reduction publicly known. There are debates about whether a Hong Kong- or Singaporean-style independent anticorruption agency will work in China: Zengke He (2008) endorses such an agency, but Jakob Svensson (2005) takes Hong Kong and Singapore as mere exceptions to the failure in general. Besides institutional design, Chuanli Wang (2001) reminds us of the importance of anticorruption strategy, and Xing Ni (2003) specifies his three-part strategy: moral education, social movement, and institutional constraint.

Anticorruption efforts are often meant to achieve something beyond anticorruption.

CCP does not have a constant incentive to fight corruption in a universal standard. For example, Jun Zhang, Yuan Gao, Yong Fu and Hong Zhang (2007) decide not to take corruption case number as a genuine indicator of corruption level, but instead as an indicator of the intensity of anticorruption measures. As Simon Fan and Herschel Grossman (2000) point out, discipline enforcement on corrupt cadres can be highly selective for economic and political purposes.

Economically, Elizabeth Quade (2007) regards the periodic and concerted attempts of

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anticorruption as by-products of economic policy decisions. Anticorruption serves to reduce over-investment and decrease inflation. Quade’s theory is furthered by Ting Gong (1994), who argues that all anticorruption campaigns are designed to facilitate

“higher” political goals: regime transformation from 1949 to 1953, regime consolidation from 1954 to 1966, and modernization since 1978.

Politically, anticorruption partly derives from the regime’s legitimacy concern. Leslie Holmes (1993) asserts that leaders in communist states are well aware that corruption undermines the ideological foundation of their rule and they have to take proactive measures in response. Many scholars agree that this general assertion applies to China.

Melanie Manion (2004) claims that those campaign-style countermeasures are actually aimed at boosting regime legitimacy. The discussion of whether they are effective in eliminating corruption can be completely off the point because, as Andrew Wedeman (2005) points out, Chinese leadership will be satisfied as long as corruption is “under control”. Guilhem Fabre (2001) highlights the dilemma where CCP regime is trapped when fighting corruption: “should one fight corruption to save the country or not fight it to save the party?” As the result, the party often purposefully omits high-level, high-stakes corruption cases. Corruption of top leaders is only exposed, as Wedeman (2012) observes, when there is factional infighting going on, e.g. the Chen Xitong case, Xiamen Smuggling Ring case and Chongqing Organized Crime case.

Jakob Svensson (2005) suggests that anticorruption agencies are commonly used as an instrument to repress political enemies. Is that the reason why CCP leaders begin their reign by furious anticorruption campaigns? Few works have been done to answer this question, but Chih-Chung Chang (2014) contributes a pioneer and inspiring work herein. Chang compares the two campaigns against corruption in early years of Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping and finds that both campaigns serve the same purpose despite the difference of measures taken: to centralize power in the new General Secretary.

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Therefore, an anticorruption campaign may both serve the legitimacy of CCP as a whole and the personal interest of the paramount leader. This research intends to testify whether Xi Jinping’s tiger hunt serves Xi in this way.

在文檔中 習近平「打虎」:反貪抑或肅敵? - 政大學術集成 (頁 13-21)