Apparently, no one is clean…

Shenzhen seems engaged in a classical turn, not simply in terms of neo-confucian efforts to remake the citizenry into folks who know and are happy in their place, but also to shrug off the possibility that any official might be clean. “They’re all corrupt; it’s tradition [speaker’s emphasis],” I was told. The inevitability of official corruption was demonstrated with a phrase from the late Qing: 三年清知府,十万雪花银, which means “after three years in office, even a clean magistrate will have accumulated 100,000 taels of silver”.

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