October 23, 2014 / 5:39 AM / 3 years ago

China's Guangdong to ban officials with overseas kin from top jobs

BEIJING (Reuters) - The wealthy southern Chinese province of Guangdong plans to ban officials from senior or sensitive government positions if they have spouses or children living overseas as part of a corruption crackdown, a state-run newspaper said on Thursday.

This year Guangdong announced that more than 850 government workers with family overseas, who are known as “naked officials”, had been forced out of their jobs.

Naked officials are viewed by the government as flight risks whose ability to escape overseas to join family members could make them more inclined to engage in acts of corruption.

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

Guangdong, which borders Hong Kong, has traditionally seen high levels of emigration with communities of people with roots there scattered throughout the world, and so has been a focus of the push against naked officials.

The province’s new rules will ban such officials from “playing leading roles in government departments, government institutions, people’s organizations and state-owned and state-held enterprises”, the official China Daily reported.

They will not be allowed to work in important or sensitive jobs, including those related to security, finance, financial regulator, human resources or accounting, it added.

“Anyone considered for promotion to a leading post will have to truthfully report their marriage, house property, personal investment and debt, self-discipline records and the jobs of their children and spouses,” the newspaper said.

The rules are included in the province’s graft-fighting plan, an outline of which was released this week, it added. The paper did not say when the measures might be implemented.

Many officials have been taking advantage of a Hong Kong investment scheme to squirrel away more than $1 million each, which includes buying “residency” in faraway African nations, as the scheme is not open to mainland Chinese residents, state media has reported.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel

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