by Xinhua writer Li Huizi
BEIJING, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Party and government officials whose spouse and children have emigrated overseas are to be subject to strict examination when applying for private passports and going abroad, according to a new regulation released Sunday.
A provisional regulation by the General Offices of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council specified new rules overseeing the issuing of private passports and travel passes to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan to such officials.
Party and government leaders of this kind have become so renowned in China that they have a shared nickname, "naked officials." They usually moved their spouses and children, as well as their assets, to foreign countries, and they put the money into their wives' or children's bank accounts. Even if they were eventually apprehended, the wealth transferred to overseas banks still belonged to the officials' families.
According to the new rules, "naked officials" should submit written accounts on all income and property owned by their spouse and children living overseas, and on any changes in their financial conditions.
"Officials whose duties or services are related to the countries and regions their spouses and offspring are living in should voluntarily report it to their higher authorities. If conflicts of interests are involved, the officials must avoid holding related posts," the regulation said.
The regulation stated that such officials should "strictly comply with relevant laws and regulations" when applying for passports and travel passes, or applying for traveling or emigrating abroad.
Officials above deputy-county head level applying for passports should consult with their higher authorities, it said, adding that a thorough examination should be conducted when promoting officials whose family members have emigrated abroad.
A statement from the CPC Central Committee General Office said the new regulation is "an important anti-corruption measure" to make officials self-disciplined, clean, reliable and to be people of integrity.
"The regulation not only stresses education, management and supervision of civil servants whose spouse and offspring live aboard, but also focuses on the protection of their interests and working enthusiasm," it said.
The regulation covers all civil servants, but excludes those top-ranking specialists in high-tech fields who have been recruited from overseas, along with high-qualified overseas returnees.
Experts say this is the latest effort to place officials' actions in the public's view.