Anti-graft bid requires cadres to disclose children's wealth
Under a trial scheme, financial details of family living overseas must be reported
Cadres at selected work units in Hubei , Shanxi and Beijing must submit reports on the assets and income sources of their children living abroad under a pilot scheme to fight corruption.
A Guangming Daily report said yesterday that the scheme, which has been in place since last month, was intended to stem the massive flow of embezzled public funds out of the country.
The illicit money is often funneled through corrupt officials' children studying or working abroad.
The scheme was proposed by the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League on June 10 and adopted later by the Central Commission for Discipline and Inspection.
The seven-point proposal requires cadres to provide to the discipline committee of their work unit such information as the bank account numbers, residence and school addresses of any children overseas before and after their departure from the mainland.
It also sets out punitive measures.
Apart from government units, the pilot scheme has been implemented in a number of state-owned enterprises.
The scheme is more stringent than the government's current financial disclosure rules, which exempt the family members of cadres from declaring their assets. Officials are only required to report their use of state monies to their direct superiors, not the organisation's discipline unit.
While calling the proposal an improvement, mainland experts doubted its effectiveness in curbing the corruption epidemic.
Dan Wei , of the Supreme People's Procuratorate Institute of Procuratorial Theory, said the scheme's success would hinge on whether the cadres' discipline committees remained independent from political pressure.
'I don't know if reporting to the discipline committee is better than reporting to one's boss. If the corrupt cadre can influence the unit, then the rules will have little use,' Professor Dan said.
A more effective measure would be to give disciplinary committees the power to approve foreign travel of officials and their children, he said. However, he acknowledged that such actions would violate individual rights.
Meanwhile, Minister of Public Security Zhou Yongkang yesterday appealed to Interpol for help in capturing fugitives who had fled abroad.
Speaking at a meeting with the visiting secretary-general of Interpol, Ronald Noble, Mr Zhou said China held Interpol in high regard for its work in fighting cross-border crime.