Tabloid, following Medvedev's comments, blasts calls for officials to publicly declare assets

Internet users take heart from Medvedev's comments that officials should reveal wealth

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 October, 2013, 4:21am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 October, 2013, 5:10am

A nationalist tabloid affiliated with People's Daily has lashed out at calls for public disclosure of officials' personal assets, after the visiting Russian prime minister told Chinese internet users it was "normal practice adopted around the world".

"Disclosing Russian officials' personal assets has yet to effectively curb corruption," a commentary yesterday run by the Chinese-language edition of the Global Times, under People's Daily, the Communist Party mouthpiece, said: "According to Transparency International's cleanliness ranking, Russia lags China by more than 50 spots. That speaks for itself."

The commentary, by Shan Renping, a pen name for the paper's chief editor, Hu Xijin, came after Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev addressed an online discussion hosted by Xinhua on Tuesday.

Medvedev was asked about Russia's anti-corruption drive and for his thoughts on state leaders and officials declaring their assets. Medvedev talked of the challenges in curbing corruption in Russia, but said there was "nothing special" about officials disclosing their assets.

"Just like leaders of any other nation, I have to declare [my personal assets]," Medvedev was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

"I think this is a normal practice adopted around the world. There is nothing special."

Such demands have been made for many years on the mainland, but internet users were quick to seize on Medvedev's comments.

"The disclosure of officials' assets is an unstoppable world trend," wrote one online user on news portal Another wrote: "There is nowhere for corruption to hide if state leaders can set an example by disclosing their assets."

The Global Times commentary, however, said that the country was not ready for such a move. Instead, it recommended that measures for officials to declare their assets internally should be more rigidly implemented, as had been ordered by the nation's top graft-buster Wang Qishan .

"Hardly any information today in China is regarded as sufficiently authoritative," the commentary said. "Publicly disclosing official assets is doomed to stir endless controversy … society would be dragged into uncontrollable ideological debates and chaos."