Summary of a workshop on the operation and limits of anti-corruption structures in the People`s Republic of China, Hong Kong and Japan

On September 16, Professor Reinhard Drifte, Associated Fellow with ISDP’s Japan Center, and Emeritus Professor of Newcastle University, participated in a workshop at Hosei University in Tokyo which provided an introduction to and evaluation of the anti-corruption structures in the People`s Republic of China, Hong Kong and Japan. The event is part of a major research project on corruption in China at Hosei University.

On Japan, Professor Yoshikai Taichi (Kokushikan University, former prosecutor in the Public Prosecutor`s Office) outlined the ups and downs of the anti-corruption prosecution in postwar Japan by dividing them in six development stages.

Professor Zhu Jiangnan of the University of Hong Kong followed with an overview of Hong Kong`s anti-corruption system under colonial and then PRC rule. Interestingly, the anti-corruption system in Hong Kong took its inspiration from Singapore and not the UK.

Professor Li Chengyan who is the director of the Centre of Anti-Corruption Studies at Beijing University, explained the anti-corruption system in China under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). He explained that alone the number of 1 inspector per 7 public officials explains partly the challenge for the CCDI. He admitted that corruption is still very serious but that the party and government are continuously developing more effective structures. The close link of the CCDI with the party and the government was highlighted as a challenge. Prof. Li wondered whether in future independent defence lawyers could be allowed. He considers that corruption comes from the inner party struggles. The ensuing discussion centred very much on the overlapping of jurisdictions and the possibility of limiting the power of the major power players.