Guangdong provincial government sacks over 850 ‘naked officials’
Investigation by local authorities identifies 2,190 officials whose spouses and offspring have emigrated overseas, with at least 866 dismissed
Reuters in Shanghai
More than 850 government workers in Guangdong have been forced out of their jobs as part of a crackdown on officials whose spouses and children have emigrated abroad.
An investigation by the provincial government identified 2,190 “naked officials” and 866 of them have been removed from their posts, according to a report posted on the Guangdong government’s official news portal on Friday and carried in local media on Saturday.
State media has reported that so-called naked officials will not be considered for promotion, as they are viewed as flight risks whose ability to escape overseas could make them more inclined to engage in corruption.
Xinhua said naked officials were a serious problem in Guangdong. The province adjacent to Hong Kong has traditionally seen high levels of emigration with communities of people originally from Guangdong scattered throughout Southeast Asia, Europe, Australia and North America.
Many officials have been taking advantage of a Hong Kong investment scheme to hide more than US$1 million each, which includes buying “residency” in faraway African nations, as the scheme is not open to mainlanders.
President Xi Jinping last year launched a crackdown on pervasive corruption over concern about public resentment towards the ruling Communist Party. But the drive is also seen as a tool to remove Xi’s opponents and replace them with his allies.