China to enforce new rules tackling corruption and improving transparency
Chinese authorities will put into effect on Wednesday a series of new rules aiming to tackle corruption, boost railway safety, curb exaggerated television commercials, and generally improve quality of life for the public, state media reports.
Individuals will be required to declare their overseas financial assets and liabilities to the state through the country’s Administration of Foreign Exchange from January 1.
The new rule comes two days after state news agency Xinhua reported that the authorities had called for “strict enforcement” of a regulation last revised in 2010 requiring officials to report their personal and family assets to the state.
The more than 20,000 civilian personnel within the People’s Liberation Army will be stripped of the privilege of free public transportation and discounts at tourist attractions. They will be issued a new personnel card distinguishing them from the PLA’s servicemen.
Another New Year’s resolution for the authorities is to increase transparency in the country’s legal system. All judgments except those involving state secrets and individuals’ privacy rights will be published online for public scrutiny from next year. Courts across the country will also strive to standardise the sentencing system.
The media control authority will also scrutinise shopping commercials screened on nationwide television channels. It has banned all satellite television stations from running shopping commercials from 6pm to midnight, as well as limiting the screening of such commercials to less than once per hour, for no longer than three minutes each time.
Scams where people are fooled into buying products through shopping commercials in which actors grossly exaggerate product effects have been widely reported in the mainland.
Meanwhile under a new rule imposed by the railway authority, individuals found smoking, disrupting order on trains or engaging in vandalism will be fined up to 2,000 yuan (HK$2,540) while their employers will be subjected to a fine up to 50,000 yuan (HK$63,400).
The finance ministry will lower the tariffs on 760 kinds of imported products to boost consumption from January 1, while the taxation authority said it would adjust purchase tax imposed on cars that see a price drop accordingly from the new year.