Freedom of the press

Reema Omar accused of justifying corruption as she refers to ‘China’s Gilded Age’

Author of “China’s Gilded Age: The Paradox of Economic Boom and Vast Corruption” Yuen Yuen Ang had to clarify that her book clearly mentions that all corruption, like drugs, are harmful. Access money generates growth with distortions, risks, and inequality” when Pakistani jurist Reema Omar referred to the US-based Chinese writer’s work.

Reema , who appears on famous “Aurat Card” YouTube channel with Benazir Shah and others, wrote on Twitter “Access money” -a kind of corruption – was a catalyst for rapid growth in China. Dr Ang calls it “steroids of capitalism.”

She added, “Does that make corruption good? No. But it’s an important part of China’s development story that those who wish to understand/emulate China must engage with.”

Hundreds of people including some journalists criticized Reema for justifying corruption, an allegation she denied.

When Reema defended herself and mentioned the author, Yuen Yuen Ang said the Pakistani lawyer’s r summary “access money fueled growth” is misleading.

She said “My book clearly maintains that all corruption, like drugs, are harmful. Access money generates growth with distortions, risks, and inequality”.

Reema thanked her for her response and replied, ” Dr Ang. I have many times clarified you warn against the risks associated with such growth. Many in Pakistan are enamoured by the “China model” – they should at least understand it before suggesting we emulate it.”

Ang said “I agree 100% people should be educated about all sides of the China model. I also understand this is very difficult to do so on social media. Any bit of clarity is progress. I am hopeful that constructive engagement will bring progress.”

Reema lamented, “Unfortunately in Pakistan, any attempt at unpacking “corruption” to understand how its various forms impact the economy (and society) differently is considered “corruption apologia”

China developed because it “executes corrupt people” is the only narrative that sells here.”

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