More than 8,000 officials at county government or higher have been removed from their posts in businesses as of November, according to the related department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
China launched a nationwide campaign to keep all CPC and government officials away from taking jobs in companies after the Organization Department of CPC Central Committee and the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection jointly issued a circular on Jan. 19, 2004.
More than 8,400 officials at county government or higher level must leave their posts in companies, said sources from the two party organs. All but 5 percent have already done so.
All officials have quitted or been removed of part-time business posts in 13 of China's 31 province, municipalities and autonomous regions, including Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning, Zhejiang, Shangdong, Qinghai and Xinjiang.
For years some government officials have held part-time jobs mostly in state-owned companies, raising public concerns about corruption and illegal intervention in business. They are nicknamed "Hongding Shangren," or businessman with caps decorated by rubies, an old term deriving from China's Qing Dynasty ((1644-1911) when wealthy officials usually wore caps with rubies.
Some worried these officials may impair fair market competition and weaken the long term endeavor to separate the functions of the government from companies.
The government at all levels has revised or repealed local policies that were not in line with the laws, regulations and policies of the central government, putting it on top of the agenda since early this year.
Relevant government departments have collected names and filed case reports of all CPC and government officials at or above county level engaged in business, and special task forces fanned out to carry out spot-checks to ensure smooth and efficient operation of the campaign.
Some local governments have taken further measures to improve supervision of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and their managers.