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Bringing down corrupt Chinese officials?

Jocelyn Ford Sep 27, 2006
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SCOTT JAGOW: China says a major probe into corruption could bring down some of the country’s most powerful officials. Just a few days ago, the Communist Party’s top leader in Shanghai was dismissed on graft charges. Jocelyn Ford has more.


JOCELYN FORD: China corruption watchers don’t expect the probe to do a thorough job of exposing all the officials who’ve broken the law.

Professor Joseph Cheng says Chinese President Hu Jintao wants to show the public he’s tough on corruption. But the president also considers politicians from Shanghai as rivals, and wants to make sure they know who’s boss.

JOSEPH CHENG: “It’s not going to be systematic, because if you trace all the way to the top, the consequence it will create political instability.”

Cheng says the fall of the leader of Shanghai party boss Chen Liangyu has some lessons for foreigners who do business here.

CHENG:“You need to build relationship with bureaucrats before you can become profitable in China. But the risk that is when the connection is broken, your business operation will be interrupted.”

So your business plan might be slowed. But then again, Cheng says, China rarely targets foreigners for corruption.

In Beijing, I’m Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.

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