John Derbyshire writes:
For my Chinese friends and colleagues, dealings with officialdom were conducted via favor-trading and bribes. “Going through the back door,” it was called.
Communist Party officials hated foreigners knowing about this. On one memorable occasion I was trying to show off my command of Chinese colloquialisms to some colleagues within earshot of our unit’s Party secretary. Foolishly, I uttered the phrase “back door.” The secretary, an illiterate oaf named Dong, exploded in fury. “There’s no such thing as this ‘back door’!” he bellowed. “It doesn’t exist!” I can see the fat fool now, veins popping with fake indignation, my colleagues cowering. “Bu cunzai! Bu cunzai!” [“It doesn’t exist!”]
Corruption is the normal way of doing things over most of the world. I’m told that Africa is even worse than China; although, since Africans cannot create wealth, other than by digging it out of the ground, the pickings are slimmer.