Anti-graft watchdog rebuts research paper highlighting biological cause for corruption
Published: Dec 12, 2019 12:46 AM

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The Communist Party of China's (CPC) disciplinary watchdog has taken aim at a so-called academic paper analyzing biological causes for corrupt activities and suggested that the best way to prevent graft is to set up a mechanism under which no one dare, or is willing, to engage in corruption.

A research paper claiming that excessive activity and disorder of the gut flora DNA system may be a biological cause of humans' corrupt activities, and that by controlling gut flora, it would help physiologically eliminate hunger and reduce people's material needs and desires, making them more diligent and self-disciplined.

The paper, which has been widely circulated online, has aroused heated discussion about its authenticity.

While some see it as a joke, the Central Commission of Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the CPC, the anti-graft authority, is taking it seriously by publishing an article on its official WeChat account, saying that rather than targeting gut flora in anti-corruption efforts, it needs more reliable measures.

"Corruption is a common problem in human society, and the causes of corruption are very complex. From case reporting to inspection to supervision and investigation, corruption is the result of a variety of factors," the CCDI said in a post.

Various factors for conducting corrupt activities include that current punishment is not enough of a deterrent, the system is not perfect and the supervision is weak, or people have selfish desires, as well as political and social environments in addition to historical factors, it noted.

In this case, establishing a comprehensive mechanism to deter potential corruption is very necessary, as the Party has zero tolerance for corrupt acts.