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China to force officials to disclose asset info

By Liu Dong Source:Global Times Published: 2013-11-30 0:53:01

China will launch a pilot scheme to make newly promoted officials disclose their spouses' and children's employment status, assets and international travel records, according to a document published by the Party's top disciplinary watchdog on Friday.

The document, which was posted on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China (CPC), is an interpretation of the decision on major issues concerning comprehen­sively deepening reform approved at the Third Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee.

The document also said the country will establish and perfect a system managing the emigration of State employees' spouses and children. It also vowed to enact a management regulation regarding the position of State employees whose spouses and children have emigrated overseas.

However, the document did not give any details about how to enforce the pilot disclosure system and the timetable for enforcement. Calls to the CCDI by the Global Times went unanswered on Friday.

Officials who remained in China while their children and spouses are living abroad are called luoguan, or "naked officials" and seen by the public as particularly susceptible to corruption.

Zhang Zhiming, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said that requiring disclosure of officials' family members' assets and other information will be a new attempt to fight corruption, which further clarifies the specific objects of disclosure and makes it more feasible in practice.

"Officials in China have been required to report their assets for a while. However, the measure has been criticized for being ineffective due to lack of verification and supervision," Zhang said.

Fang Ning, director of the Institute of Political Science at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, remains cautious.

"China lacks a platform which contains comprehensive information on all citizens' economic activities such as financial income, tax, investment and properties. Therefore it will be impractical in detecting officials' illegal gains," Fang said.

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