Despite President Xi Jinping’s stern rhetoric on the seriousness of his anti-corruption campaign, recently released official data shows that the Communist Party did not significantly increase the number of corruption investigations in 2013. Rather, corruption investigations are only up 4% over last year and 6% since 2011. According to experts, the substantially similar number of investigations over the years suggests that authorities are trying to meet quotas set by the Communist Party. Moreover, according to Yuhua Wang of the University of Pennsylvania, the relatively flat numbers indicate that Xi’s much vaunted anti-corruption campaign is aimed more at increasing the legitimacy of the new government rather than arresting corrupt officials.
At the same time, Xi Jinping has launched a crackdown on civil society activists who seek to expose official corruption, further reinforcing the idea that Xi is far more concerned with consolidating power than rooting out corruption.