Local gov't liaison offices deregister before deadline: newspaper

16:34, June 21, 2010      

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Most of the 436 county-level government liaison offices in Beijing have been deregistered before the July deadline, the Beijing Times reported Monday.

Liaison offices have faced public criticism for allegedly bribing central government officials, wasting public funds and speculating on the property market.

Those liaison offices not yet deregistered claimed to be "going through the relevant procedures," the Beijing-based newspaper said.

The deregistered offices could not be contacted by phone, the newspaper said. But it remained unknown whether the offices were actually closed.

More than ten provinces including Hubei, Jiangxi, Shandong and Gansu had published timetables for closing their liaison offices in Beijing, Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post reported Monday.

The State Council's General Office issued a circular on Jan. 19, ordering counties, local government departments, and development zones to close their liaison offices in the capital within six months.

As of 2006, there were 50 liaison offices representing China's provinces and special economic zones, 295 representing major cities, 146 representing local government departments and 436 representing counties, according to figures from the Government Offices Administration of the State Council.

Liaison offices of provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions and special economic zones could remain open, while established city-level liaison offices needed approval of provincial governments to stay open, the circular said.

Provincial governments had approved retaining most of their city-level liaison offices, the Oriental Morning Post quoted Li Gang, head of a publication for the liaison offices in Beijing, as saying.



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