#LRP17: Lies, Damned Lies, and Police Statistics: Crime and the Chinese Dream

Xi Jinping’s Chinese Dream has a dark side exemplified by the emergence of villages specialising in a single type of crime, from ‘hand-cutting’ pickpockets to ‘cake-uncles’ expert in accounting fraud. Officially, China boasts one of the lowest murder rates in the world, claiming a forty-three percent drop in severe violent crime over the past five years. But Børge Bakken, a specialist in Chinese criminology, argues that all Chinese crime statistics are falsified for political, propaganda, and administrative reasons. With the authorities focussing on clamping down on civil society and seemingly turning a blind eye to criminality, is China becoming an ‘uncivil society’?

For more on criminality in contemporary China, read Børge’s essay ‘Snapshots of China’s “Uncivil Society”‘ on Chinoiresie.

Photo Credits: Fortune.com.


Graeme Smith and Louisa Lim
Graeme Smith and Louisa Lim

Graeme Smith is a China studies academic with the Department of Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University. Louisa Lim is a former China correspondent for the BBC and NPR, now with the Centre for Advancing Journalism at Melbourne University. Follow them @limlouisa and @GraemeKSmith.