The Uses of Corruption in China

Once, when a bureaucrat from Beijing arrived in Sichuan province, his subordinates advised him about the local standards in bribe-taking. He was told how often he could be “ill” and how often he could accept invitations to ribbon cuttings, both occasions at which he could accept “gifts” without fearing charges of corruption, that is, so long as he remained politically loyal and did a good job. Such “gifts” could equal $10,000 a year, far more than his nominal salary.