'Naked official' regulation causes Shenzhen official to resign

Head of Dapeng New district's working committee has a husband who lives overseas, making her ineligible for promotion

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 August, 2014, 1:26pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 August, 2014, 8:20pm

A policy that prevents government officials from being promoted if their spouses and children have emigrated has led to the resignation of a official who was once the youngest on the bureau level in Shenzhen.

Liu Yan, 44, chief of the Communist Party’s working committee in Dapeng New district, resigned last week for family and personal health reasons, The Beijing News reported, quoting the organisational department of the party’s Shenzhen Municipal Committee.

She admitted her husband had emigrated years ago, which makes her what is nicknamed a “naked” official.

“My husband was already studying abroad and has lived there since then,” The News quoted her as saying, though it was not reported where the husband is or when he left China. We were married at the end of 1998. I joined the civil servant corps in 2001.”

Liu, once seen as a rising political star in Shenzhen, was in her mid-30s when she became a member of the party’s standing committee in Nanshan district in 2006. Two years later, Liu became the city’s youngest bureau-level official when she was named chief of the municipal Youth League committee.

But with the implementation of the official selection and appointment regulation in January, officials with family overseas are no longer considered for promotion.

A statement published on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog, said that as of June 6, 866 officials – including nine-bureau level cadres and 134 at the department level – had been forced to retire early, were demoted or transferred to nominal posts.

CCDI, which sent a team of inspectors to Guangdong late last year, said in February that the number of naked officials in the province was a serious problem.

Guangdong soon launched a series of investigations and position adjustments across the province after asking officials to report any property they own, the employment statuses of spouses and children, and records of their movements in and out of the country.