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January 14, 2013



her brother, a supermarket buyer, had to hand over his entire salary for the year to his boss every Spring Festival to be allowed to keep his job

It really is incredibly 18th century, isn't it?


I am sort of disappointed that you can't purchase army commissions. The army is plenty corrupt in other ways, tho.


Well, you couldn't purchase navy commissions in the 18th century. But having "interest" was pretty vital to your career; a well-placed relative of higher rank, or a political ally of your family, was by far the best way to get promoted.

I have no idea if this is the case in the PLA.

Richard J

The recent Osprey book on the PLA is a masterpiece of politely dodging around such topics in favour of detailing the minutiae of their current uniform.

(And purchase of commissions strikes me as being too bilateral for the Chinese way of these things - where does your boss get his cut?)


I think that it was customary (or not unknown) for the colonel to take a cut of the purchase price in the pre-1881 army. Wasn't there some officer who was slandered as deliberately trying to get his officers killed so he could profit by reselling their commissions?

Luis Enrique

a seafood mall?


The city's a port; basically the place will contain a bunch of different seafood sellers/restaurants/etc. It's a pretty big building, so "market" doesn't really seem to cut it. Emporium?



Richard J

In most property markets, I'd suggest in a few years "the bank's", but I gather the Chinese property market is an exception to this general principle.


A hawker market, in Singaporean; a food hall in general Chinatown terms. no?

Luis Enrique

I more meant: wow!

I'd love to spend some time in a seafood mall.


basically the place will contain a bunch of different seafood sellers/restaurants/etc

For the rich, Purveyors of Bespoke Seared Tuna. For the poor, prawnbrokers.


@jamesP PLA corruption? Purchasing commissions? Here's John Garnault with 3,200 words on the subject: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/16/rotting_from_within

This supermarket buyer story really does show how the corruption argument splits into equal camps, each looking after their best interests. Of course there's gonna be massive pushback when even the branch manager of Tesco's is looking at a massive salary cut. And I'm sure the buyer's happy making more than he officially earns with tax-free kickbacks.

It's the demographic that's cut out of this equation that hurts most. I guess it depends whether if a lot of those people are simply going to take a "wait for my turn" approach


Looks like an interesting article - shame you can't read it without a subscription... is there discussion of how the PLA's industrial and commercial operations affect its general probity?

chris y

ajay, I have a sub to FP. If you'd like a pdf of that article email me at chris point young chez geemail point com.


Thanks very much - will do.

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