China / Government

Beijing joins Shanghai in fight against nepotism

By Cui Jia (China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-19 07:37

Senior officials' spouses and children to face strict controls on links to private businesses

Spouses and children of senior officials in Beijing will soon face strict controls over their involvement in private businesses - following their counterparts in Shanghai.

This was decided on Monday when the central authorities expanded a pilot anti-corruption program to end nepotism and regulate the behavior of officials' family members.

The regulation will be expanded and become routine practice in regions including Beijing, Guangdong, Chongqing and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

This was announced by the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform, headed by President Xi Jinping. The regulation first took effect in Shanghai in May last year.

Under the regulation passed by the Shanghai government, spouses of ministerial- and provincial-level officials are prohibited from starting companies or becoming involved in any business operations. Their children are not allowed to have businesses in Shanghai.

Han Zheng, Party chief of Shanghai, said last month that 1,802 officials had filed reports containing detailed information about their relatives' involvement in private businesses last year. Most of their relatives have since left business circles.

Ten officials were removed from their posts and 10 others were transferred to other positions as a result of the regulation. Three officials were also investigated for suspected serious disciplinary offenses, he added.

Zhu Lijia, a professor of public administration at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said, "Corruption among family members is a common form of corruption in China, which the government must put a stop to because the damage can be very severe.

"The regulation in Shanghai has effectively cut officials from the business ties created by their family members and also reduced such corruption."

Zhu said that implementing the pilot regulations in a variety of areas - including Beijing, other relatively well-developed areas and an ethnic region - can help the central government to draft a practical regulation at national level, which would be introduced in the future.

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