China Corruption Still Running Rampant

China Corruption Still Running Rampant

China Corruption Still Running Rampant

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called corruption the ruling Communist Party’s biggest threat and vowed a “sweeping victory” over the problem. Graft in the world’s second-largest economy has manifested as casino junkets, blow-out banquets and suspected collaboration with stock traders. Stopping it has been a key point for Xi, who got clearance Sunday to serve indefinitely in the country’s highest office.

But the country’s corruption rankings in world surveys suggest that China has become chronically stuck mid-way between very high and very low scores for levels of graft. That’s because of, and despite, five years of stepped-up crackdowns against thousands of public officials since Xi took power in 2012. Forbes

China Corruption is Bad for Business

 In 2013 Xi Jinping, announced his goal to fight both “tigers” and “flies,” references to both top-ranking officials and ordinary bureaucrats. Over five years later, however, China’s anti-corruption campaign has fallen short, with no meaningful political reform in place and no long-term legal framework introduced to prevent corruption.

In the meantime, Xi has continued to concentrate his power, becoming one of the most influential leaders in Chinese history. China’s emerging civil society of NGOs, community groups, and social-advocacy organizations, which prospered under economic reform and modernization over the past three decades, now faces increasing government scrutiny. Dissent has been suppressed, making it harder for Chinese people to protest.

I travelled throughout China as a reporter in 2012, the same year Xi launched his worldwide anti-graft campaign, presumably to cut down on political and private influence over public projects. Very often, I would hear ordinary Chinese citizens express their discontent with the one-party government and corrupt officials. “The country is dying from corruption and the widening wealth gap,” a taxi driver who gave me a ride in Chongqing said, something echoed by Xi himself, who said, “We must . . . rid ourselves of any virus that erodes the party’s health.” Full Story

Random views on the Coronavirus (April 2020)

With dismay, we watch the USA react in unbecoming ways, instead of adding stability to the situation the range of different orders and commands from various governors, agencies, etc. fostered even more dread instead of a sense of hope. The markets are pulling back not because of underlying economic conditions, but because individuals feel like no one knows what they are doing. Hopefully, the rest of the US gears up like NY and opens up Mass testing centres.

The disinformation campaign is so rampant; I felt that this something I needed to investigate directly to offer Tactical Investors a better look at what is really going. So, I decided to take the risk and fly solo to Asia without announcing it.  I wanted to see for myself if the US and the West, in general, was overreacting and if Asia was doing a better job on the psychological frontier. So far, I have visited Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, and Indonesia and I can honestly state that they are doing a much better job of controlling the panic factor then we are doing in the US. People are not emptying shelves left, right and centre the only thing seems to be selling like hotcakes are face masks.  The contrast in the way the Asians are dealing with this situation from a psychological standpoint of view is humungous

Asia seems to be doing a better Job

For example, Jakarta is about to declare a state of emergency, and yet people are not running around in panic. Malaysia is closing down its borders, and the most significant reaction was that Malaysians working in Singapore raced back home to pack up extra supplies and then headed back to Singapore, where they will stay for an extended period. Many Malaysians commute daily from Singapore to Malaysia. If the border is closed, they won’t be able to go back, so they wanted to make sure they had enough clothing etc. for their extended stay in Singapore.

If the leaders of the West but in particular, the US could act in the same way to instil calm in the populace, the reaction would be different. Fear increases stress and stress, weakens the immune system. The extensive data listed below clearly indicates that stress can be deadly, especially to the old who in most cases have some sort of pre-existing disorder and additional anxiety places an extra load on the already weakened immune system.

Stress Kills

During acute stress lasting a matter of minutes, certain kinds of cells are mobilised into the bloodstream, potentially preparing the body for injury or infection during “fight or flight” [1]. Acute stress also increases blood levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines [2]. Chronic stress lasting from days to years, like acute stress, is associated with higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, but with potentially different health consequences [3]. Inflammation is a necessary short-term response for eliminating pathogens and initiating healing, but chronic, systemic inflammation represents dysregulation of the immune system and increases risk for chronic diseases, including atherosclerosis and frailty [4]. Another consequence of chronic stress is activation of latent viruses. Latent virus activation can reflect the loss of immunological control over the virus, and frequent activation can cause wear-and-tear on the immune system [5].

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