The Chinese Communist Party’s latest anti-corruption initiative will force officials to declare their assets and those of close family members. The new rules were announced at the close of the annual meeting of the party’s watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. Extending disclosure to family members, the state news agency Xinhua said, is aimed at spouses and children who have left China.
Xinhua said “around 4,000 corrupt officials fled the country with at least $50 billion between 1978 and 2003, according to a Ministry of Commerce report.” The China Daily (here), which usually reflects government policy, said: “Crooked officials often take bribes through companies run by the family in order to relocate their ‘dirty’ money.” See our post, China’s Runaway Bribe-Takers.
The government reported that “more than 880,000 officials were punished for misconduct between July 2003 and December last year.” Among them were the former party chief for Shanghai, Chen Liangyu. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison for bribery and abuse of power in 2008. Zheng Xiaoyu, ex-director of the State Food and Drug Administration, was executed in 2007 for taking bribes and dereliction of duty.
The Central Commission said the ongoing corruption problems “damage the Party’s flesh-and-blood bond with the people and seriously affect the solidity of the Party’s ruling status.”