Hong Kong slipped for the third year in a row in a global corruption ranking prepared by Berlin-based Transparency International, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.
The city scored 74 out of 100 on the Corruption Perceptions Index, down one point from last year. That puts the territory on the 17th place, down from 15th last year.
It was Hong Kong’s worst ranking since it returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, the report said.
Reacting to the report, the Independent Commission Against Corruption said the decline may be due to recent media reports on corruption cases in the city, adding that Hong Kong is sparing no effort in fighting wrongdoing in both the government and private sector.
Meanwhile, China fell to 100th place in the ranking from 80th last year, despite its highly publicized campaign against corruption. It scored 36, down four points from last year.
Srirak Plipat, chief of the organization’s Asia Pacific region, said China made little progress in the promotion of transparency, government accountability, press freedom and civil society, despite President Xi Jinping’s pledge to go after both “tigers and flies”, referring to top cadres and low-ranking officials engaged in corruption.
In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the ranking was seriously inconsistent with China’s actual anti-corruption achievements, adding that the country is seeking to enhance judicial collaboration with other countries to clamp down on cross-border corruption.
In this year’s report, Denmark ranked number one with a score of 92, while Somalia and North Korea were the lowest, both scoring eight.
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