China ranks 79th out of 180 on Transparency International‘s latest annual rankings of how corrupt countries’ public sectors are perceived to be. Its score of 3.6 is equal to Burkino Faso, Swaziland and Trinidad and Tobago. Top ranked New Zealand scored 9.4; bottom-ranked Somalia scored 1.1.
From the commentary on the rankings:
China has launched a sustained anti-corruption drive and intensified a crackdown on corruption in the public sector, investigating and prosecuting ministers, public officials and employees. Corrupt officials above provincial levels were disciplined and preventive measures to deal with stimulus packages to tackle the financial crisis have helped keep China’s score stable in 2009, though still low at 3.6.
The global financial crisis and political transformation in many Asian countries during 2008 exposed fundamental weaknesses in both the financial and political systems and demonstrated the failures in policy, regulations, oversight, and enforcement mechanisms. These two factors contribute to a decrease in the scores of 13 countries from the 32 countries/territories in the region, along with a reduction in the number of countries that scored above 5 in the 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index.
China dropped seven places from its 2008 ranking, when it recorded, as the report noted above, the same score of 3.6. Last year, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Mexico, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago were its peers. Pace Trinidad and Tobago, only Mexico failed to improve its score this year.
Hong Kong came in at 12, same as last year, Taiwan at 37 (39 in 2008) and Macao at 43 (no change). China was still ahead of India at 84th (up one from 2008).
In a separate report on private sector corruption, Transparency International notes that both China and India ” boast some of the world’s largest markets and play an increasingly active and important role in global business. However, their companies are regarded by their peers as among the most corrupt when doing business abroad.”
Of the other two Brics, Brazil comes out tops on this year’s public sector perception ranking at 75th with a 3.7. Russia is 146th with a 2.2.
With massive stimulus packages and fast-track disbursements, plundering of pubic funds blocks good governance and accountability.