Graft-busters say corruption is a scourge of the developed West
Corruption is common in the West and has its roots in its political system, according to an article published by the Communist Party and its watchdogs.
A signed article posted on the website run jointly by the party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and Ministry of Supervision, said the recent TV series House of Cards and American Gangster had left Chinese viewers wondering whether corruption was as common as the dramas portray.
"A close look shows corruption is still common in Western nations like the US," the article said. "The roots of corruption run deep in Western history."
It cited former French president Jacques Chirac and former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert's convictions and sentencing on corruption charges as evidence that graft was also rampant among politicians in the free democracies of the West.
It also cited a recent European Commission survey in which 76 per cent of respondents believed corruption was still common in their country, while 56 per cent said it was getting worse.
The article said Western governments tried to present an image of clean governance by defining corruption in terms of business dealings, while they have legalised activities like lobbying, which might be considered corrupt elsewhere.
Western governments also relied on international bodies such as Transparency International to foster a cleaner image of themselves while denigrating developing nations such as China.