The Chinese Inquisition: Xi Jinping’s War on Corruption

Fisher, Harriet E. (2015) The Chinese Inquisition: Xi Jinping’s War on Corruption. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Gang Guo from Political Science, The University of Mississippi.

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Abstract

HARRIET ELIZABETH FISHER: The Chinese Inquisition: Xi Jinping’s War on Corruption Under the direction of Gang Guo An integral part of Chinese political life is the rampant corruption that infests every level of Chinese government. China’s current leader, Xi Jinping, has initiated a hardline anti-corruption campaign that, for the first time in history, has targeted both low-level officials (small flies) and high-level officials (big tigers). This thesis is concerned with the factors that have motivated Xi to initiate these unprecedented reforms. I have identified three potential motivations: office, policy, and legitimacy. The office motivation refers to Xi’s attempt to consolidate his own power as leader of China, as well as the power of his political faction, represented by how many positions of power they hold. Xi may also be trying to achieve a policy goal in one of three areas: monetary policy, policy concerning economic development, or policies to bolster legitimacy. Finally, legitimacy is concerned with the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party, which has deteriorated with the spread of corruption. I posit that Xi is driven by all three motivations, which I seek to prove by doing a survey of the media concerning the general situation surrounding the “swatting” of little flies, as well as a series of case studies, one for each of the big tigers that have been caught in Xi’s campaign. Through this analysis, I have arrived at two conclusions. First, based on the evidence collected, Xi is driven by all three motivations, as they are all interconnected. Secondly, as to the specific kind of policy Xi is trying to adopt, there is evidence for the initiation of economic development policies and legitimacy policies, although there was no mention of monetary policy. Unfortunately, these results are only speculation at best. The study of corruption is notorious for its inherent lack of transparency; this fact, coupled with the Chinese government’s lack of transparency, make Chinese corruption particularly difficult to study with any measure of certainty. Thus, we cannot discern what has motivated Xi to initiate his anti-corruption campaign, and may never know.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Fisher, Harriet E.
Student's Degree Program(s): International Studies, Chinese
Thesis Advisor: Gang Guo
Thesis Advisor's Department: Political Science
Institution: The University of Mississippi
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Depositing User: Ms. Harriet E. Fisher
Date Deposited: 06 May 2015 19:29
Last Modified: 06 May 2015 19:29
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/332

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