Anti-corruption

The Shandong and Jinan authorities have set up investigative teams to look into thousands of illegally constructed villas in the area. (Internet)

When China’s local governments ignore Xi Jinping’s instructions to demolish illegally built villas

Recent media reports have highlighted the issue of villas continuing to be illegally built in the mountains of southern Jinan even as those found are demolished. Shandong and Jinan authorities have swiftly launched investigations, including taking action against party cadres who might be involved, but will their persistence last? Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan reports.
Former senior official Sun Lijun was featured in the first episode of an anti-graft documentary series in China. (Internet)

How China's corrupt ex-police official Sun Lijun gained clout in the CCP

The first episode of an anti-graft documentary highlighted the case of former Vice-Minister of Public Security Sun Lijun, who built a personal following in the Communist Party of China (CPC) by helping other officials with promotions, despite not being among the very top leadership himself. How did he build up his clique? Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan reports.
A man rides a bicycle past a Yango Group real estate project under construction in Yanan New Zone, Shaanxi province, China, 4 January 2019. (Yawen Chen/Reuters)

China's local governments going bankrupt?

Local governments in China are facing a problem of not having enough in their coffers, leading to various measures such as a hiring freeze in Hegang city. Corruption also remains a problem, with some officials using their authority and influence to line their own pockets. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu notes that there is a danger of such debt issues becoming a risk to social stability.
Chinese President Xi Jinping inspects an honour guard at a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 22 September 2013. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo/Reuters)

China's regulatory clampdowns: Masterful moves or persistent mistakes?

China has implemented regulatory clampdowns at lightning speed across various industries. Reactions to these new policies and directives have been mixed. Some people approve of the Chinese central government's decisive actions to address societal ills and problems, hailing them as part of a grand master plan. Others are sceptical, thinking China is repeating the same old mistakes of using Chinese-style mobilisation methods and creating a grand illusion that the top leadership has the future mapped out and everything under control. Comparing China's counter-pandemic and carbon reduction efforts, economist Chen Kang examines the problems of the Chinese bureaucratic system and the issues that may go wrong when the government runs grand campaigns.
Chinese President Xi Jinping waves at the end of the event marking the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, 1 July 2021. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Can the CCP avoid the Stalin curse under Xi Jinping?

Fatal flaws in the Soviet system, or the Stalin curse, led to the eventual demise of communist regimes in Eastern Europe. These systemic flaws had different manifestations at different levels of the system. The current CCP leadership is aware of these problems and has tried hard to avoid travelling down the same path of the Soviet Union, but tinkering with the same Leninist vanguard party is not going to ensure its survival. Instead, a new model of party building is needed to break the Stalin curse.
A banner marking the centenary of the Chinese Community Party is seen at a subway station in Shanghai, China on 28 June 2021. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Former Singapore FM George Yeo on CCP’s centenary: The Chinese revolution continues

George Yeo, Singapore’s former foreign minister, shares his thoughts on China’s evolution with Lianhe Zaobao on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. He sees the milestone as just a pitstop in the long journey of the Chinese nation. Fresh thinking and innovation will be needed as the country progresses. Equally important, developing a “broad-minded and big-hearted nationalism” which is humble and learns from others will keep China on the path of being a great nation. Here are edited excerpts from the interview.
Performers wave national and party flags as they rehearse before the event marking the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, 1 July 2021. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Rise of China's CCP and demise of USSR's CPSU: A tale of two communist parties

The CCP has much to be proud of on the 100th anniversary of its founding on 1 July. Coincidentally, this year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU)’s demise. Chinese leaders have learnt much from the Soviet Union’s experience, not least the importance of a people-centric approach. In fact, the party is undergoing a grand synthesis of its reforms to chart the country’s way forward. However, amid problems such as regional disparities and insatiable expectations, fresh solutions need to be found. The CCP also needs to present a brand new image of itself in the international arena.
People work in a rice field of Runguo Agriculture Development Company during a media tour organised by the local government in Zhenjiang, in China's eastern Jiangsu province on 13 October 2020. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Pandemic, floods, locusts and shrinking farming population: Will China suffer a food crisis?

China feeds about 20% of the global population, but its overall self-sufficiency in food seems to be dropping. Even though it is self-sufficient in some staples such as wheat, rice and corn, it is less so in others. In fact, it is the largest importer of food in the world. Recent calls by President Xi Jinping to cut food wastage has people thinking that political reasons aside, China’s food supply is at risk. This risk could yet be amplified by changes in land policies, rural-urban migration and more.
Former chairman of China Huarong Asset Management Lai Xiaomin being tried in court for accepting bribes worth over 1.78 billion RMB. (Weibo)

Will the ‘most corrupt official in China’ be sentenced to death?

Lai Xiaomin, former chairman of China Huarong Asset Management, was recently charged with taking bribes worth over 1.78 billion RMB. Corruption cases have been dealt with harshly in the past, but not in the case of a deputy minister-level official taking bribes of such a large magnitude. Will Lai be made an example of as a signal to other "pests” who are waiting to crawl out of the woodwork?