Some Officials Open to Requiring Asset Declarations

In his work report at the opening of the 18th Party Congress, President Hu Jintao spoke out about corruption at the highest levels of government. The official China Daily quotes his speech: “Leading officials at all levels, especially high-ranking officials, must readily observe the code of conduct on clean governance and report all important matters,” Hu said in a keynote speech at the opening of the CPC’s 18th National Congress. “They should both exercise strict self-discipline and strengthen education and supervision over their families and their staff; and they should never seek any privilege,” Hu said. However, Hu offered no specifics about how the Party could carry out such reforms. Forcing officials to declare their assets is one potential method. Two up and coming officials, Guangdong’s Wang Yang and Shanghai’s Yu Zhengsheng, both of whom are vying for a position on the powerful Politburo Standing Committee, told foreign journalists at the Party Congress that they are open to the idea. From Reuters: The comments by Wang Yang, party boss of Guangdong province, and Yu Zhengsheng, Shanghai’s Communist chief, come at a time of heightened sensitivity about the wealth of China’s top leaders on the eve of a once-a-decade leadership transition. […] Official ostentation has become a hot-button issue on the Chinese Internet. One official was recently sacked and put under investigation after web surfers compiled pictures of him wearing several different luxury watches. Wang said Guangdong was “exploring” ways to compel officials of the fast-developing province to declare their assets. “I believe that we Chinese officials will make public our assets step by step in line with central provisions,” said Wang, who some political observers believe is a contender for a spot in the elite Politburo Standing Committee next week. AP explains why Wang Yang’s views may carry some weight: ...
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