China has seen several senior officials overseeing border and frontier regions taken to task for discipline breaches.
A deputy director of the National People’s Congress committee in Tibet was sacked last June together with a number of his subordinates. Four months later, a vice governor in Inner Mongolia was stripped of his job, also on corruption charges.
In just a little over a month into 2016, there have been two more additions to the list. After a senior public security officer in Xinjiang was disgraced in January, a ministerial-level deputy director of the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office has now become the latest to be expelled from office.
Their corruption cases are more or less similar: administering a border province far away from the capital or the country’s heartland means unchecked powers. Corruption by top cadres in these regions, mostly involving Hans, had to be checked as it was heightening the resentment and sense of alienation among the ethnic minority people in those regions.
Now, mainland officials in Hong Kong also appear to be coming under increased scrutiny.
We’ve had reports that the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the Communist Party’s top anti-graft watchdog, has sent a taskforce to the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office and Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong to check if there is any misconduct or breach of discipline.
Representing the central authorities in an affluent society like Hong Kong is apparently considered a cushy job by officials, given all the perks that come along with the posting.
So the fears of possible misconduct are not misplaced.
We can now only wait and watch if any key official will be hauled over the coals.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb. 4.
Translation by Frank Chen
[Chinese version 中文版]