Date
20 August 2017
"Naked officials" are natural suspects for graft because it's hard to imagine how they can support  their spouses or children who are living abroad with the measly pay they are getting. Photo: Xinhua
"Naked officials" are natural suspects for graft because it's hard to imagine how they can support their spouses or children who are living abroad with the measly pay they are getting. Photo: Xinhua

Anti-graft campaign targets ‘naked officials’

China’s anti-graft fighters are stepping up the campaign against “naked officials”, Communist Party cadres who live in the mainland while their spouses and children stay abroad.

The Organization Department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, the party organ that oversees staffing and promotion of party members, issued a notice earlier this year asking all regional party committees to make a list of “naked officials” and their specific situations. And for the very first time, the department has made it clear that these officials cannot be promoted to a number of vital posts.

Since 2010, some 1,000 “naked officials” have been identified in southern China’s Guangdong province. Many of these cadres have their wives and children living in Hong Kong, Australia, the United States or Canada. The suspicion is that these officials engage in corrupt activities, otherwise they will not have the wherewithal to provide for their families’ daily needs outside the mainland. Their spouses or children are also suspected of acting as conduits for the transfer of ill-gotten wealth.

Xinhua reports that a dozen provinces including Fujian and Zhejiang – where many Chinese expatriates and immigrants came from – will have similar surveys and all information will be reported to the department by year-end.

According to the report, these officials will be removed from senior positions within the local party committees, local committees of the National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, local party commissions for discipline inspection as well as local courts and procuratorates.

Besides, positions related to the military, diplomacy, national security, finance and organizational affairs will also close to these officials. If such officials are already in these positions, they will have two choices: they either ask their spouse or children to go back home or be transferred to a much lower rank.

“Naked officials” are required to fill in forms to provide detailed information regarding whether the spouse has the right of abode outside the mainland, time of migration, residential address, occupation, and other details.

The new directive applies to all officials and civil servants in the country since virtually all of them are Communist Party members. 

China’s social networks are abuzz with the latest campaign, with some netizens asking, in a roundabout way, if President and Party Secretary Xi Jinping can be regarded as a “naked official” and should also step down from his top positions.

Xi’s daughter Xi Mingze is studying at Harvard University, and is reportedly a green card holder.

– Contact the writer at [email protected]

CG

EJ Insight writer

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