Many Chinese remain deeply cynical about whether President Xi Jinping can truly bring about a change in the behavior and ways of mainland officials despite the anti-graft campaign, the New York Times reported.
While it was agreed that Xi was serious about taming official graft and that his efforts forced officials to scale back their most egregious abuses, most people believe the problem will return once the anti-corruption fight runs of steam, the paper said, citing interviews with several dozen people.
“Corruption is something you can never completely root out. After you get rid of one group of officials, another group will take their place,” a Beijing taxi driver was quoted as saying.
“It’s like cutting a bunch of leeks; you cut them, and another batch will eventually surface.”
In recent days, top leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the war on corruption and signaled concern about resistance among the Communist Party’s 86 million members.
In a commentary published on Sunday, the official People’s Daily railed against officials who complain that by exposing so much corruption, the campaign is hurting the party’s image.
Nearly 72,000 officials were punished last year, including 68 “tigers”, or senior officials, according to state media.
But many Chinese intellectuals believe that Xi is using the anti-graft campaign to sideline would-be enemies and consolidate power.
They argue that without systemic change, including greater transparency and a free press, unscrupulous behavior will re-emerge, the report said.
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