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A historical review of the control of corruption on economic crime in China

ENZE LIU (Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, London, UK)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 31 December 2015




The purpose of this paper is to provide a historical review of China’s anti-corruption efforts, from the ancient period of Chinese slavery societies to the late 1970s before China launched its profound economic reform, under the current status of the harsh crusade against corruption that the Chinese new leadership initiated.


This paper is mainly based on a great deal of historical literature and empirical findings, with relevant comparative analysis on policies and regulations between various periods of China.


The phenomenon of corruption has existed in Chinese history for thousands of years, throughout Chinese slavery societies, feudal societies, republic period and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Anti-corruption laws formed an important part of ancient Chinese legal system, and each dynasty has made continuous and commendable progress on fighting such misconduct. Innumerable initiatives have also been taken by the ruling party Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since the founding of the PRC. The PRC government created various specially designed government organizations and a series of updated regulations for preventing economic crimes. They have realized that periodic movements against corruption would no longer be helpful, and the paramount issue nowadays is indeed how bold the leaders are in striking out those unhealthy tendencies.


This paper fills in the blanks in the Western world with a comprehensive description of, and comments on, the historical efforts on China’s corruption and economic crime prevention. It also, in various ways, provides meaningful information that links to China’s current furious war against corruption.



LIU, E. (2015), "A historical review of the control of corruption on economic crime in China", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 4-21.



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