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Should 'naked officials' be given approval?

Should 'naked officials' be given approval?

The 2012 Rule of Law Blue Book, released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Monday, shows that high-ranking Chinese public servants are more accepting of "naked officials," those who continue to work in China while their families live abroad, reports Singapore-based Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao.

The academy surveyed public servants and citizens in 23 provinces and cities. According to the results, 38.9% of public servants in China believed that their spouses should be able to have citizenship in or become permanent residents of foreign countries. Among provincial-level, bureau-level and county-level officials, more than 50% thought it would be acceptable for their children to hold foreign citizenship or be permanent residents abroad.

Those with higher ranks were more likely to accept "naked officials." An inside source told the newspaper that most of these officials are able to support their families' lives in developed countries only due to involvement in illegal practices. Some transfer "grey" properties to foreign countries and can move more freely in and out of China after retirement.

The report said that issues related to naked officials are an underlying threat to the interests of the country and its people. Some important officials may influence Chinese politics and government policies with an eye to their families living abroad, it warned. The blue book said that naked officials are a high-risk group but that the current system is not capable of punishing them.

The blue book recommended that authorities take practical measures to monitor these officials by requiring them to publish the current status of their finances and families living abroad.

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