According to Beijing Youth Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Youth League committee in Beijing, 97.8% of respondents to a recent survey felt that Chinese officials were wasting public funds.
This percentage, charted by Erik Crouch of Shanghaiist, is terrifying.
Yep, the percentage who said officials weren't wasting public funds is so tiny (2.2%) that it may just be a rounding error, or people who didn't understand the question. For context, 69% of a recent Huffington Post/YouGov poll felt that the U.S. needed to eliminate waste and fraud to cut the deficit.
What's really notable about the Beijing Youth Daily poll is that the blame is being laid at the door of the officials personally, and not just inefficient systemic waste. Among the biggest examples of waste, the respondents said, were Communist Party use of "official receptions" (33.8%), "official cars" (20.7%), and "travel" (16.7%).
This anger is reflected in the recurring use of the Chinese Internet's "human flesh engine" to find and expose officials living beyond their means. For recent examples, see Yang Dacai, the expensive watch-loving official who was pictured smirking at a car crash, or Liang Wenyong, the official who was secretly filmed eating a lavish banquet of lobster while calling the "common people" shameless.
This nearly universal derision of the extravagance of Chinese officials explains why, quite rightly, President Xi Jinping is worried. Xi's much-lauded anti-corruption drive has pledged to tackle both "tigers" and "flies," ordering officials to carpool to work and limit official banquets to four courses. Even the biggest tigers, such as Zhou Yongkang, China's former security chief, have not been safe from scrutiny.
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