Nationwide actions needed against "naked officials"
2014-June-19 Source: China View website
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China should sharpen the sword used in its fight against corruption by taking a purge of "naked officials" in one of its southern provinces as inspiration for similar moves nationwide.

The political arena of Guangdong Province was shaken up earlier this year when more than 1,000 naked officials, or those whose spouse and children have emigrated overseas, were ferreted out.

During the overhaul, those who refused to bring back their families have been penalized with demotions or "position adjustments." Guangdong has completed applying the policy to almost all such personnel.

As a result, some 200 public employees have asked their families to return, while 866 agreed to accept demotion, including nine at mayoral level.

Public resentment of naked officials has been growing as people wonder how salaried civil servants can afford to have their families living abroad.

"Naked officials are considered a high-risk group who are prone to corruption and can easily escape to foreign countries. Police found many of them have transferred large amounts of money overseas and sent families abroad to escape punishment.

The existence of naked officials damages the credibility of the government and the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and tarnishes their images.

Results released by the China Youth Daily on Tuesday after a survey of 27,509 people showed that nearly 93 percent believe the existence of naked officials has dampened their trust in the government, while 95 percent support an overhaul nationwide.

To address the problem, the CPC ruled out promotion of naked officials for the first time in a revised regulation on official selection and appointments issued in January.

Guangdong's action was carried out within the framework of Party rules and came in response to a warning from a central disciplinary inspection team that there were far too many naked officials in the province.

Other parts of the country could next draw lessons from Guangdong and make the move themselves but with reference to their own situations.

To stamp out the problem, however, stopping officials from sending their spouse and children abroad is more important than merely cutting off their chances of promotion once they do so.

To screen and monitor naked officials more efficiently, sufficient and long-term measures should be introduced.

All officials should be required to report information about family members and household property regularly.

Special attention should be paid to those whose family members emigrate after their promotion, and measures must be taken to cut fugitive channels once a naked official becomes corrupt.

Editor: 王凯
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