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.
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?
@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!
@昵称已被抢了呀: Selective integration. Shame on you.
@公民梁子: Civil servants in many countries have disclosed their financial assets. What about you guys?
@塵十封: Congratulations to our country for being in the front of this global trend.
@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!
Translation by Mengyu Dong. These comments were compiled and originally posted by CDT Chinese on January 6.