Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Chinese Corruption

In the aftermath of the huge earthquake in Sichuan last year, I donated a couple thousand dollars to the Red Cross and World Vision, specifically for earthquake relief. Of course I knew about the rampant corruption in China but I was hoping that things would be different this time. Well... I was wrong. (translation of Chinese news article)
80% of eartquake donations ended up in govt. coffers

Research conducted by a team led by professor Deng Guoshen of Tsinghua University indicates that of the 76.7 billion yuan worth of charity donations collected last year for the Sichuan earthquake victims, about 80% ended up in the government's coffers and was spent no differently than the government's regular tax income.

According to Deng, the local governments of the quake-stricken regions were the direct recipients of about 58% of the donations while about 31% were received by NGOs such as the Chinese Red Cross. Deng stated except for a small fraction of the donations which donors had specified must be used by NGOs, most of the money streamed into the government's bank accounts.

Awesome. I guess I should be happy that a few hundred dollars did make it to earthquake victims. Hopefully the other 80% went into the local Chengdu economy in the form of travel, entertainment, or whoring spending instead of some ernai's pocket in Shanghai.

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