By LUO GUAN
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – Mixed reactions have greeted the news that China’s unstoppable economic rise will soon hand it a dubious new honor: that of world’s most corrupt nation.
The International Corruption Index (ICI) is organized and compiled by Transparency Internationl and draws on some 130,000 publicly available sources to analyze 177 countries’ public-spending levels, incomes, transparency and general, outright chicanery.
The ICI currently ranks Somalia as number one and China as number eight, behind such failed states as Libya, East Timor, North Korea, Iraq and Egypt.
But the announcement of the latest 2012 survey came with a statement from Transparency International, predicting that China will overtake its African rivals by 2020.
Corruption has long been the bane of the Chinese public and senior Communist Party officials. Many believe it is now so rife, it has seeped into every aspects of public life, from bribing bureaucrats to approve a simple license to ‘tipping’ a teacher before class.
But the state media has angrily denounced the report, with the People’s Daily running a hot-headed leader immediately debunking the claims. “Some pseudo-scientists want to pour filth on China by tarnishing it with garbage ideas,” the editorial raged. “This is scientific factoid and the Chinese people will not be easily fooled.”
Others have cautiously welcomed the news, however – particularly, bent officials.
“Great Leap Forward for China! Roll on 2013, I move to US,” tweeted ‘thenakedofficial,’ an as-yet anonymous Weibo user seemingly intent on goading his four-million-strong following of enraged netizens with corrupt boasts.
Others saw the report as highlighting China’s lack of development internationally.
“Fucking Somalia,” raged one commenter on Redrants.com, a popular Maoist forum. “Always holding us back. Why must we wait eight more years? Come on, PLA: do something!”
“Somalian pirates may have a better navy but soon they will feel Chinese hostages’ hands in their pockets,” predicted another. “Taking your money, lol!”
The complex Chinese response to the index was perhaps best summarized by self-confessed loner, animal torturer and manic nationalist Shan Renping.
“Wherever China is number one, I feel proud,” wrote Shan, 17, on his blog The Global Times. “Number-one corruption, number-one pollution, number-one food scandal. Proud – yet sick at same time.”
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