Corruption is a cancer to which no society is immune. It raised the death toll of Iran’s recent earthquake, owing to substandard housing construction 10 years ago. It has afflicted the United States Navy, which is now investigating more than 60 admirals and hundreds more officers for fraud and bribery. It has brought down countless governments, from Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s administration last year to Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist government of the Republic of China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, a keen student of history, is well aware of corruption’s destructive potential — and has confronted the phenomenon head-on. But, as China’s economy continues to modernise, much work remains to be done.
Prior to the economic reforms of the 1980s, corruption in C