Over the past few months several corrupt officials have been exposed in the online media. A few have been caught by party mechanisms, and by other means. Now with the official Party crackdown on corruption advanced by Xi Jinping, it is time to offer some advice to cadre who either are dishonest, or intend to be dishonest.
In the interest of promoting harmony between the governed and the government, here are a few things corrupt government officials might consider.
1. Be careful of your watches, cigarettes, and clothing. This is the number one rule because it seems that being photographed or videoed wearing expensive accessories is the way many investigations begin. Remember, this is the age when everyone has a camera phone. Once your picture wearing a 150,000 RMB watch is taken, it is just a matter of seconds before it’s spread all over the internet.
2. Don’t involve your extended family in your illicit activities. It is true that blood is thicker than water, but some of your family members may be even more corrupt that you, or maybe just stupid. For example, it is probably not smart to put an apartment you received as a gift from a developer in exchange for demolishing a few peasant huts in the name of your younger brother’s retarded son. Nothing good can come of it.
3. Don’t have a girlfriend/boyfriend. They tend to take breakups badly and can hold knowing information about your activities over your head. If you must have an extra marital relationship, don’t talk about your scheming, under the table dealings, or wealth. It’s bad enough to have to share these things with your spouse. No need to widen your circle of potential snitches.
4. When viewing a bus accident, bridge collapse, train wreck, or other disaster, don’t smile even if one of your rivals was killed in the unfortunate incident. If apologizing for polluting a river after receiving a hefty payment from a chemical company, act contrite. If you are seen as haughty or uncaring it will attract attention to your entire job performance. There will be plenty of opportunity to count your money or gloat over your rival’s demise in your private office.
5. Don’t be ostentatious. If the urge to buy an expensive timepiece is overwhelming, don’t try to scratch the itch by wearing a knock-off instead of the genuine article. It may call attention and unwanted scrutiny to your timepiece. And even if you show it’s fake, you will have drawn attention to yourself. If you just love to feel the heft of an expensive gold and diamond timepiece on your wrist, buy one using cash while on an overseas trip. Carry it home in a diplomatic pouch, and only wear it while looking at yourself in your bedroom mirror.
6. Drive a modest car. If your office provides a car for you, opt for a middle of the price range or lower end model. From time to time offer a ride to a crippled old lady you see walking on the street. Doing this in the presence of people with cell phone cameras is especially helpful. It makes for great public relations.
7. Don’t try to hide your ill gotten gains within China. Anonymous, overseas bank accounts and other financial instruments like bearer bonds were custom made for hiding swag. Keeping tangible assets such as unregistered gold bars or high quality diamonds in a safe deposit box in Switzerland is another made to order prescription for hiding stealth wealth. There is no paper trail leading back to you from these types of investments.
8. Limit your greed. If you make a score, take the money and run. The longer you keep playing the game, the more likely it is you will be caught. Get out while you can. After all, how many millions do you need to live happily ever after on a tropical beach in the Caribbean?
9. Don’t let success go to your head. It is human nature to get increasingly careless the longer the game is played. Be self-aware enough to admit you have limitations.
10. Know your place. Never steal more than your boss, and if you do, keep quiet about it.
11. In some aspects of life, such as show business, there is a saying, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” In the world of political corruption, the opposite is true. In public life it’s best to be seen as an anonymous drone slaving tirelessly for the good of the people until you retire to an expensive apartment in one of the most upscale areas of Paris.
12. If your child is getting married, turning 21, graduating university, or otherwise celebrating some event, don’t throw a giant party in the most expensive hotel in town. The little people will notice the caravan of your finely dressed friends arriving in their expensive cars and question how you could afford to sponsor such an event on your 10,000 RMB/month salary.
13. If your son or daughter needs a job, don’t pull strings or call in favors to secure a favorable position for them. Let them sink or swim on their own merits. Doing this may help them build some of the personal character you find lacking in yourself.