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By Chang Ping, published: October 18, 2015 “Everyone’s already used to it, and that’s precisely the problem.”   Now the United Nations has its own, China-style “big tiger.” The former head of the UN General Assembly, John Ashe, is being charged with taking bribes from numerous Chinese business interests, and was arrested near New York City recently. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, expressed his shock, requesting the UN’s internal supervisory agency to begin its own procedures. Corruption in any form at the UN, or in the name of the UN, would not be tolerated, he said. How close this script is to the anti-corruption campaign going on in China. When Xi Jinping expresses surprise at the severity of the corruption at high levels of […]

In China, the possibility of “gray income” can be an important factor when choosing a job. “Gray income” simply refers to receiving “gifts” in exchange for improved service. It is most common when someone controls access to something like health care, education or job opportunities. The difference between this and bribery seems rather arbitrary, but people in China seem to accept the former while being disgusted by the latter. The prevalence of gray income jumped out at me the other day after a good friend told me of a discussion he had in a local noodle shop with an off-duty policeman and his friend. At some point the policeman’s friend brought up the issue of gray income and how police officers have many sources of it, which the policeman […]

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