Once, while in Moscow, I was told that initially in any large or medium-sized federal project (secretly, of course) from 5 to 10 percent of "margin" is foreseen. It is "acceptable" to steal these money. The argument is simple and sensibly rational – they will be stolen all the same ...
If project participants are stepping outside these "limits", they can be warned (for example, through Alexei Pymanov and his mysterious program "Man and Law"), or they can even be publicly taken to the court. The cases of this kind are numerous, and they regularly appear in Russian news reports about fighting corruption.
And I should note that this policy is quite effective. I have formed a clear view, that in Russia the anti-corruption situation is one level higher and definitely more effective than in Ukraine. Anyway, the governors and the others "Vasilyevs" are not put to jail in Ukraine (or they can be simply released after the demonstration of the court procedures).
Our fight against corruption has and will have court-stage-performance form. And so it will continue for as long as the Ukrainian bribe-takers are not shuckled in the "Chinese stocks".
In ancient China, this torture (in fact, a penalty, almost unlimited in duration) was called Li-chia. The device for it was a neck stock, which was secured over the linked into a cell bamboo or wooden poles at a height of about 2 meters.
A convict was placed in a cage, and under the legs a pile of bricks or tiles was put—and then gradually removed. The executioner took the bricks off, and the man slowly hung with the neck clamped in a stock, which began to choke him. Sometimes this could go on for months, until they took everything from under the legs of a convict ...
You should agree that it is a very handy thing. But I would suggest doing the opposite in Ukraine. If you stole, for example, five million dollars and you are standing naked (even without panama) in the center of Independence Square (people there are constantly screaming out: "Bandits should be in prison!"). And poor fellow is standing on the pavement among all the honest (and not very honest) people. If he returns one million—one stand is added. When he returns the second one—the next stand is given to him. And so it is going on—as long as the official delegation of Panama comes to Ukraine begging for a loan...
In ancient China, there was a way to avoid it—for the huge ... bribe. In the past this "pleasure" cost about 10 thousand today’s dollars. The jailer could give a criminal, who was awaiting death in a pit, a knife or poison. You should agree, that there is something compassionate in this act.
Since then, China has become the People's Republic of China. And since its foundation in its history there were a lot of different aspects related to the death penalty. Some of them were merciful, others—cruel.
Yesterday, for example, Beijing has officially unveiled the price list of public services for the formalization of the death penalty for corrupted officials.
The price is 3 million yuan, or 463,000 US dollars. Civil servants, guilty of overstepping this “margin”, will be punished with immediate death penalty. The document was released by the Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate of China.
The document says, that the court may impose the death penalty with a two-year postponement in the presence of mitigating circumstances. In practice, the courts show leniency towards the convicts, who are actively cooperating with the investigation.
In cases when the death penalty is considered to be extremely cruel punishment, criminals can receive life imprisonment without the right to reduce the term of sentence serving and without the parole.
The document also defines the dimensions of illegal income of the corrupted in order to introduce appropriate criminal sanctions: in a considerable amount—up to 30 million yuan, on a large scale—from 200 thousand to the very "threshold" of 3 million yuan, on the maximum scale—from the already-mentioned 3 million yuan.
According to the document, China's judiciary also toughen the punishment for bribery in the form of a fine. For this, the level of fines is approved, which is much higher than for all other types of crime. As well as this, the confiscation of all funds or other property obtained by criminal means, is legally provided.
We can wonder how simply and clearly it is all explained. In China, everything is always transparent. However, not every criminal listens to the rules’ explanation...
Since 2000, 10 thousand officers were shot in China for corruption. And in 30 years of struggle against corruption nearly a million employees from the Party-State apparatus have been brought to account for bribery. One million!
And I think, few people were talking about political persecution by the "previous evil authorities".
Once, during an interview, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of China in Ukraine Zhang Siyun to my question: "Has the level of corruption decreased in connection with this?"
said the following:
"In China, we are fighting firmly against corruption. Although I would not say that its level in our country is the highest in the world, the problem so far is quite acute. However, we do our best in order to if not to put an end to it forever, then at least to reduce it to a minimum level. First of all, we are building such a social system, which is able to eliminate the possibility of the intersection of power and money. We are developing appropriate regulatory and legal frameworks and ensure that they function effectively.
Secondly, we provide a meticulous recruitment for the public sector, to eliminate the possibility for potentional corruptionist to get into it. There are special committees on Party discipline. In governmental structures—at different levels—the Ministry of control carries out its mission.
In general, in my opinion, serious actions are being taken. But, despite the fact that 99% of civil servants are nice, clean and honest people, yet there are also those who cannot not resist the temptation. Then, of course, they have to be punished. Sanctions are different. And a criminal is sentenced to death for corruption on the maximum scale."
I could not resist and asked another question, which I was personally very interested in, the question about actually legalized oligarchization:"The Communist Party of China is an amazing Party, because you have skillfully resolved one difficult question. Chinese millionaire and capitalists can enter into it. So, they can pay the Party fees and be in the ruling elite of the country. Are there some figures: how many of your oligarchs became communists? Do you have the oligarchs in China?"
Siyun Zhang replied:
"Firstly, we do not have the ruling elite. All members are just the rank-and-file Party members. They have a lot of responsibilities, but little powers to be able to receive an economic benefit from the fact that they are the members of the Party.
Secondly—yes, there are rich people, no less rich than in other countries. But they can not be called oligarchs, as they do not have any special influence in society, nor the ability to be, for instance, monopolists in certain sectors of the economy.
In general, when a person is taken into the Party, no matter whether he is rich or poor. These are the moral traits’ of the personality, rather than the thickness of the purse which represent the criterion for being the member of the Party."
In Ukraine, alas, everything is vice versa. And it explains, if not all, then many on-going events.
So, if Ukrainian bribe-takers (of all levels) are not shackled in Chinese stocks—nothing will go in the right direction in the country.
It is not necessary to shoot them. Still, we are moving to Europe. However, I think that in the Chinese special carriage (Jinguan Auto), in which nowadays the majority of executions are carried out, our anti-corruption movement towards Europe would accelerate considerably...Konstantin Nikolaev
Translated by Maria Kryzhanovska