by Xinhua writer Cheng Zhuo, Gu Ye
BEIJING, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Local officials in an east China county are finding their love lives are a matter of public concern in a new requirement for them to meet "morality" standards.
Not only will extramarital affairs possibly ruin their careers -- they will also find their relations with their parents, children and neighbors under scrutiny.
The new morality standards have been imposed on 96 local government and Communist Party of China (CPC) officials in Shuyang County, Jiangsu Province.
Their records of marital fidelity, filial piety, parenting and good neighborliness will be included in their biannual performance assessments.
Personal morality would be assessed through interviews, home visits, investigations and public submissions, said Wang Xiaodong, head of Shuyang's CPC organization department.
Any evidence of immoral conduct would earn them demerit points, Wang said.
Officials should set moral examples and a failure to do so could bring the whole system of local government into disrepute, said Jiang Jianming, Shuyang Party chief.
Jiang said bad examples in the past had resulted in the new rules. He cited an on-line report about a male official in Shuyang who had repeatedly sent vulgar text messages to his female colleagues.