Watchdog warns of misconduct in holidays
China’s anti-corruption watchdog is showing Party members it’s not without a sense of humor after posting an online quiz and a funny short video reminding officials not to get involved in corruption scandals during the Spring Festival.
The two-minute video posted on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) uses a mix of live action and cartoon animation.
In one scene an official tells friends he’s planning to adopt a dog during Spring Festival. In the next scene a citizen is seen supplicating himself as he offers the official a dog made of pure gold.
The video lists seven corrupt acts, including receiving luxury gifts, prepaid store cards, and accepting large amounts of
money at birthday parties for relatives.
The quiz is available on CCDI’s official WeChat account. It uses illustrations showing scenes with an opportunity to commit a corrupt act.
The game shows a grass-root officials using government vehicles for personal use, going into luxury private clubs and accepting a “red envelop” containing cash.
Users are asked to choose the correct answer to a multiple choice question for each of the eight panels.
After finishing the quiz, users can also instantly report actual corrupt behavior they’ve witnessed to the CCDI via a link posted in the game.
“This is an innovative attempt to attract attention to the many ways officials can be corrupted. Old-school political education doesn’t work well with the many young people who have recently become grass-roots officials,” said a police officer surnamed Liu, 27, who is also a grass-roots Party official at the Public Security Department of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Spring Festival is the time of year when Party officials are often asked to attend banquets where they can be lavished with gifts by people seeking favors, Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, told the Global Times.
In China, some businesspeople use friendly gatherings during the Spring Festival holiday to build a special connection with government officials, and some government officials are willing to trade their decision-making power for cash and gifts, Su said.
“Some traditions during the Spring Festival will provide opportunities to these people,” he added.
“During Spring Festival, it’s very normal to see Chinese people attend a banquet every day with different people. For people with official authority, the best way to avoid getting caught in an awkward position is to spend more time with family. It’s very hard to predict what will happen at some feasts with special purposes,” said a middle-level cadre working for the leadership of the central government who asked that his name not be used.
“Although the game and video are good attempts by the CCDI to educate Party members, the anti-corruption campaign must rely on strict law-enforcement and effective surveillance,” Liu said.
Party discipline inspection agencies nationwide handed out punishments to 527,000 people in 2017, including 58 officials at the provincial and ministerial level or higher, the CCDI announced on January 11.