The Washington Post’s Keith Richburg summarizes some of China’s more infamous corruption and abuse of power scandals of 2010. He writes:
“Such incidents have deeply embarrassed China’s ruling Communist Party…
“These incidents weaken the government’s credibility little by little,” said Li Datong, a social commentator and former editor of the China Youth Daily’s weekly supplement. “It’s like a fire in a wood pile: A small incident can easily trigger a big mass incident during a time of social unrest. It’s a very dangerous situation, which is why the government spends heavily to maintain social stability by paying large sums of hush money to the victims’ families.”
Mr. Richburg is assuming that the Party can be embarrassed. Given the history of contemporary China, I do not think embarrassment is an emotion the CCP understands or worries about.
These incidents damage credibility, create ill will, require clean up efforts, may eventually threaten stability and in general are a headache to the Party. But we should not confuse that with “embarrassment”.
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