In 1980, commun ist revolu tion ary veteran Chen Yun, second only to Deng Xiaoping in status, char ac ter ised the problem of corrup tion as ‘a matter of life and death’ for the Chinese commun ist party. Other Chinese leaders acknow ledged corrup tion as more serious than at any time since 1949, when the commun ists won power on the main land in a protrac ted civil war. Yet, despite an anti-corrup tion effort that now extends back several decades, includes more campaigns than found anywhere else in the world and metes out the death penalty to corrupt offi cials, experts agree that corrup tion in China remains wide spread and serious (Deng et al. 2010; Manion 2004; Shieh 2005; Wedeman 2004, 2005, 2012). Indeed, as best we can tell, corrup tion seems to have increased in incid ence, scope and sever ity since 1980. 1 Compared to the past, it involves higher stakes and implic ates a greater number of higherlevel offi cials.