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Guangzhou Party official discloses personal assets, encourages others to do the same

Posted: 01/25/2013 10:46 am

Financial transparency and careers in Chinese politics do not often go hand in glove, which is why the case of Fan Songqing is such an intriguing one. According to a story in the China Daily, Fan became the first government and Party official in Guangzhou to publicly disclose his personal assets. Speaking at Guangzhou’s political consultative conference, which concluded earlier this week, Fan openly discussed property owned by his family, including a 74 sqm home, and an RMB 10,000 monthly salary that he receives from the Party. Fan then urged the approximately 2,000 other Guangzhou Party officials to do the same: “We should not wait for a city-wide implementation of the reporting system. If it had been put into operation earlier, there wouldn’t be so many officials involved in corruption in the past few years,” Fan said.

While there have yet to be any Guangzhou Party officials rushing to support Fan’s proposal, Cao Jianliao, the deputy mayor of Guangzhou has agreed to follow suit, provided, “the authorities require officials to do so.” Although that may not be the ringing endorsement Fan had hoped for, his move is not without precedent. Authorities in the Jiangning district of Nanjing have introduced a policy requiring officials to declare personal assets, including bank balances, real estate, cars, and any businesses their family members may be involved in.

While it’s difficult to say whether Fan’s proposal will gain any traction among PRD officials, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Following the recent changeover of the Politburo Standing Committee, cracking down on corruption has been among the Party’s top priorities; just ask Bo Xilai. Fan is clearly suggesting officials take a step forward and put their money where their mouth is.

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