China to ban 'naked officials' from promotion
Central committee moves to prevent 'naked officials' - civil servants who are party members and have family members residing overseas - from receiving promotion
Chinese civil servants with immediate family members living overseas - so-called "naked officials" - will be disqualified from promotion, according to an updated guideline recently released by the Communist Party's central committee, China's Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Thursday.
Despite some local government efforts at barring "naked officials" from promotion in the past, this was the first time the central government clarified its stance over the highly controversial issue.
This newest revision was made in a key party guideline for promotion first issued in 2002, that outlines the procedures local governments should follow in filtering candidates for advanced jobs.
The updated guideline stipulates that officials with spouses living overseas, or single officials with children residing out of China, shall not be considered for promotion.
With regard to another controversial category - officials who have in the past been held responsible for wrongdoings - the guidelines say they shall not be promoted within two years after the offence was committed.
Liu Xutao, a professor from the State School of Administration in Beijing, applauded the latest revision.
"We can only protect the safety of the state power by limiting the naked officials' access to higher posts," Liu told the Daily, "This is in line with modern political ethics."
On social media,China's net users welcomed the news on Thursday, although many said it would not be sufficient to deter corruption.
"If the officials are already rich enough to send their family members abroad, they probably don't need a promotion," one microblogger said.
"Those officials should be sacked," others wrote.
China has at least 1.2 million ready-to-flee 'naked officials', according to a speech made by Chinese Academy of Governance professor Zhu Lijia in 2012.
The situation has drawn heavy scrutiny and criticism in recent years as it is thought to go hand-in-hand with corrupt officials transferring ill-gotten gains out of the country.