Despite Efforts to Curb Graft, China’s Image Still Tarnished By Corruption

Posted December 1st, 2011 at 6:20 am (UTC-5)
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An index of global perceptions of corruption indicates China is still viewed as corrupt despite efforts to curb official graft.

The Berlin-based group Transparency International scored 183 countries on a 10-point scale, with zero being very corrupt and 10 being the least corrupt.

China ranked 75th on the corruption index, scoring 3.6 on the ten-point scale.

Cobus de Swardt, Transparency International’s managing director, told VOA that authorities in Beijing view corruption as a major handicap to China’s future development, and thus have attempted to curb official corruption at home. But he said it does not appear China has made the same effort in how it operates in the rest of the world.

New Zealand ranked 1st in the index — meaning it was perceived as the world’s least corrupt country — followed by Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. The United States ranked 24th.

De Swardt says North Korea and Somalia tied for last because they are both dictatorships with no checks-and-balances, no elections, no independent judiciary and no civil society.

De Swardt says corruption remains a major contributor to social and policy problems. In the Middle East, he attributes the popular uprisings called the “Arab Spring” with widespread demands for greater public accountability.