Netizen Voices: Financial Disclosure and Selective Integration

After calling for the public disclosure of officials’ assets last spring, New Citizens’ Movement founder Xu Zhiyong was handed four years in prison for  “gathering crowds to disturb public order” in January, and two of his colleagues were also convicted on similar charges. These anti-corruption activists seem to have been handed the short end of the stick in what Bloomberg has dubbed “Xi Jinping’s  anti-corruption paradox“: while the ruling administration has been warning of the fatal threat corruption poses to the Party and launching financial disclosure pilots, it has also been harshly cracking down on critics of the regime even if they seem committed to fighting the same corruption. In January, state-run Beijing News (新京报) posted  an infographic [zh] to their Weibo account showing that officials in the UK, Hong Kong, and Japan receive substantially higher retirement benefits than do private citizens. The infographic was posted with the following weibo:

@新京报:[Many Countries Hold Civil Servants to Higher Financial Disclosure Requirements than Ordinary Citizens] Today, the news media posted an infographic showing that in Germany, the U.S., Japan and Hong Kong, the pension for civil servants is higher than it is for ordinay citizens. These four relatively advanced countries and regions offer us much to learn from. Understanding the overall situation of financial disclosure for civil servants, we find out that civil servants are also held to higher standards than ordinary citizens. We also have an infographic.

【多国对公务员财产公开要求高于普通人】今日有媒体发图,证明德、美、日及香港公务员养老金待遇高于普通人。这四个相对先进的国家和地区有很多值得借鉴的地方,我们在了解了公务员财产公开的概况后,发现他们对公务员的要求也同样高于普通人。我们也有图。

Netizens were quick to point out hypocrisy in the paper’s chosen words:

@曦光散人: Spreading fig leaves! Would you dare to publish the proportion of a civil servant’s income made up by his salary?

遮羞布扯得满天飞!敢不敢公布一下工资在公务员全部收入中所占比例!

@Tao-ye: Whenever talking about this issue, you always bring up wishes to integrate with international standards, yet whenever talking about people’s social welfare, you bring up the “primary stage of reform and opening up” argument. What on earth is your logic? Go to hell!

一谈到这事你就想和国际接轨。一谈到普通人的社会保障问题你就谈中国是改革开放初级阶段,你到底是什么逻辑?曹尼码的!

@昵称已被抢了呀: Selective integration. Shame on you.

选择性接轨,要脸吗?

@公民梁子: Civil servants in many countries have disclosed their financial assets. What about you guys?

多国公务员都公示财产呢。你们呢?

@塵十封: Congratulations to our country for being in the front of this global trend.

恭喜我國在這一制度走在世界前列

@simonexie: Our Party has made it clear that such method is not compatible with the national conditions of our country. You see, all those countries that have the disclosure system also have corruption, but our Party does not—nevermind those who’ve already been expelled!

我党已经明确说明了,这种方法不适合我国国情,你看那些公布了的又能怎么样,还不是照样有贪腐?我党就一个都没有,当然了开除的不算!

Translation by Mengyu Dong. These comments were compiled and originally posted by CDT Chinese on January 6.