April 20, 2017 / 2:46 AM / 5 months ago

China issues stricter rules for officials to report assets

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has issued stricter regulations requiring officials to report personal information, including assets, to the ruling Communist Party, state media said, in the country’s latest effort to tackle corruption.

China’s President Xi Jinping sees extravagance and corruption as an existential threat to the party, whose authority is in part predicated on its ability to spread the gains of China’s growth fairly among the Chinese people.

His ongoing crackdown on corruption has moved in recent months away from the high profile officials to weeding out daily corruption at the grassroots, making almost anyone a potential target.

“Officials at deputy county level or above are required to report information, including their marital status, overseas travel, criminal records, wages and other earnings, family properties, stocks, funds, insurance and other investment,” the official Xinhua news agency reported late on Wednesday.

The rules, jointly issued by the General Office of the party’s Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council, China’s cabinet, would be accompanied by random audits, increased in frequency to one in 10 reports, Xinhua said.

“The report of personal information is an important assessment of loyalty to the party,” Xinhua said, adding that it would be linked to the promotion process.

It also said punishments have been stipulated for false declarations and deliberate concealment of personal information, but did not specify what they were.

Many cases of corruption have involved officials registering businesses and property under the names of relatives, allowing them to meet the letter of party guidelines while still using their influence to amass wealth.

Officials are currently not subject to public asset disclosure requirements. China also does not have an independent anti-corruption body, and insists the party and the government can police itself.

Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Michael Perry

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