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China’s Anti-Corruption Drive
 
Viewed by the current leadership as a major threat to the country’s social and economic development, corruption remains one of China’s most pressing concerns. To discuss the scope and complexity of the Chinese anti-corruption campaign and its results and outcomes, on 25 June 2015 the Center for the Study of Democracy hosted a delegation from the China Center for Contemporary World Studies (CCCWS) for the third time. The delegation, headed by Dr. Hu Hao, Deputy Director General of CCCWS, included also Dr. Wang Yiwei, Director of China-Europe Academic Network and Professor at Renmin University, Ms. Xu Xu, Director of Exchange and cooperation of CCCWS, Dr. Zheng Dongchao, Third Secretary of CCCWS, and Ms. Nie Shengquan, Research Fellow at the CCCWS. The meeting was a follow up to the discussions held during the previous visits of the CCCWS delegation at CSD that took place on May 25, 2011 and October 3, 2012.

On the CSD side the meeting was attended by Dr. Ognian Shentov, CSD Chairman, Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, Director of CSD Economic Program, Dr. Alexander Stoyanov, CSD Director of Research, Dr. Maria Yordanova, Director of CSD Law Program, Dr. Emil Tsenkov and Gen. Chavdar Chervenkov, Senior Fellows at CSD Security Program, Mr. Martin Vladimirov, Analyst at CSD Economic Program, Ms. Zoya Damianova, Program Director at ARC Fund, and Mr. Ventseslav Kozarev and Mr. Iasen Nestorov, Research Fellows at ARC Fund.

Dr. Shentov welcomed the delegation and opened the discussion by identifying various strategic fields of common interest, focusing on anti-corruption in particular. Stressing that corruption continues to be a major social and political issue both in China and Bulgaria, he drew the attention to the Monitoring Anticorruption Policy Implementation (MACPI) tool developed by CSD that evaluates the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures at public institutions. Dr. Shentov emphasized on the positive reception that the innovative tool has received from the Bulgarian government and also from the European Commission, where it has been presented earlier this month. Dr. Stoyanov introduced the main characteristics and indicators of MACPI along with the results of its pilot implementation in Bulgaria and Italy, and focused on the applicability of the tool in various environments.

Dr. Hu Hao showed appreciation for the invitation and spoke on future connectivity and cooperation opportunities in the frame of China’s “One Belt and One Road initiative”. He pointed out that China is facing increasing challenges with regard to corruption and that the MACPI methodology potentially has a lot to offer to the strong anti-corruption campaign that is currently taking place in China. Dr. Hao brought into focus the series of strict laws, regulations and measures introduced by the new Chinese leadership lead by President Xi Jinping, aimed at investigating and prosecuting low and high level government, military and state-owned company officials involved in corrupt activities. By going after both high-ranking party leaders and petty bureaucrats, or “swatting flies and hunting tigers” in the modern parlance, the current anti-corruption drive has yielded impressive results as thousands of officials from every region have been swept up in the campaign. Dr. Hao also underlined that the Chinese government does not target only domestic corruption and regional protectionism but also hunts corrupt suspects that have fled overseas to avoid punishment.

With the aim of exchanging good practices and enhancing the professional expertise of both organizations in view of the increasing importance of political, economic and cultural relations between China and Bulgaria, Dr. Hao and Dr. Shentov signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation between CCCWS and CSD. As a leading Bulgarian non-profit research organization, CSD constantly aims at fostering the reform process in Bulgaria through impact on policy and civil society. CSD has pioneered in several areas traditionally perceived as the inviolable public property, such as anti-corruption monitoring, energy sector governance, institutional reform, and national security. The Partners view these areas of expertise as an appropriate fit to the mission of CCCWS to study political systems in foreign countries through monitoring social and political trends and conducting comparative studies, which leaves the door for future collaboration wide open. Both sides have agreed to continue the dialogue and to work together in the true spirit of partnership in order to ensure a mutually enriching and successful cross-cultural collaboration in the future.

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