'Naked official' in Guangdong first from group to get sacked in new anti-graft campaign

Case marks new anti-corruption focus on officials whose wives and children abroad

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 May, 2014, 6:08pm
UPDATED : Friday, 23 May, 2014, 6:08pm

China has removed a senior “naked official” from his post in the southern province of Guangdong, state media reported.

The move marks the government anti-graft campaign’s focus on a group – ones whose spouses and children have emigrated – which it sees as a corruption risk.

Fang Xuan, deputy chief of the Guangzhou city Party Committee, will be taking early retirement, the official Xinhua news agency reported the Organisation Department of Guangdong’s Communist Party committee as saying in a statement.

Authorities found Fang to be a naked official, one of the first to lose his position as China’s government begins a large-scale campaign to “stamp out” such officials, said Xinhua. It said a “slew of investigations” had been launched against other officials in Guangdong.

President Xi Jinping last year launched a crackdown on pervasive corruption over concern about public resentment towards China’s stability-obsessed ruling Communist Party.

But the drive is also seen as a tool to remove Xi’s opponents and replace them with his allies.

Naked officials will not be considered for promotion, state media reported in January, as they are viewed as flight risks whose ability to escape overseas could make them more inclined to engage in acts of corruption.

Xinhua said naked officials were a serious problem in the province of Guangdong, which borders Hong Kong.

Many officials have been taking advantage of a Hong Kong investment scheme to squirrel away more than US$1 million each, which includes buying ‘residency’ in faraway African nations, since the scheme is not open to mainland Chinese residents.