Minitrue: Axe Story on Naked Officials
The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.
According the to article, published by People’s Daily, an investigation of government officials for “nakedness”–sending their family and assets abroad–has just been completed in ten provinces. Zhang Xixian of the Central Party School told the People’s Daily that, while ultimately the names of the “naked officials” and the extent of their corruption should be made public, now might not be the time:
“The reasons the provinces are not making this public are that, first, we are in the midst of a critical period of ‘catching tigers,’ so many people are concerned about self-preservation; and second, the ‘naked official’ problem may involve a rather large number of people, including relatively high-ranking cadres, and there is fear that disclosing the particulars of the situation could cause a political ‘earthquake,'” Central Party School professor Zhang Xixian told the People’s Daily:
[…] “Figuring out the situation on an individual basis is the first step. This investigation measured the depth of the problem, and relied on volunteers. Right now it’s only people voluntarily filling out forms, where of course they can write down whether their spouses are abroad. But to make them report their assets, that’s very difficult,” Zhang Xixian said. “That requires more time to establish a complete legal framework.”
[…]“摸底排查只是初步行动，这次调查是看底盘多大，是出手依据。现在只是自愿填表，是否有配偶在国外当然是可以填的，但你要让他们汇报财产问题，那就很难了。”张希贤说，“这就需要更长的时间，建立更加完备的法制框架。” [Chinese Source]
The article title was later changed to “Central Party School Professor: Non-Disclosure of Naked Official Numbers May Be to Prevent Earthquake in Officialdom.” The retitled article is still available from the pro-communist Hong Kong newspaper Ta Kung Pao [Chinese].
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.