Hundreds of "naked officials" penalized in Guangdong

GUANGZHOU, May 29 (Xinhua) -- More than 250 officials whose spouses and children have emigrated overseas have been penalized with demotions or "position adjustments" in south China's Guangdong Province as part of a campaign to stamp out the practice.

According to an article published on Thursday on the website of the Organization Department of the Guangdong Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, the province has completed applying the policy to almost all such personnel, known in China as "luoguan" in Chinese, or "naked officials" in English.

The number of luoguan identified in Guangdong includes nine formerly in senior positions.

Dongguan City has demoted 127 officials and 128 in the city of Jiangmen have been assigned to other posts.

According to selection and appointment regulations issued in January, these officials will not be considered for promotion.

Guangdong Province has launched a slew of investigations into such officials. The organization department had offered them two options: bring their families back to China or face "position adjustment."

Fang Xuan, former deputy party chief of Dongguan, is reportedly taking early retirement because he is a "luoguan."

The news has caused great concern among the public as many have questioned whether Fang's early retirement constituted adequate punishment. The public's impression is that such officials must be corrupt.

"Being a 'luoguan' does not equate with violating laws and regulations, but the country is paying attention to civil servants and will strengthen management to root out such officials from the very beginning," according to the organization department.