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Guangzhou mulls officials' asset disclosure


14:01, January 22, 2013

A district in a South China mega-city will be among the first to pilot a scheme requiring officials to declare their assets and make them known to the public amid increasing public outcry against corruption.

The Nansha New District of Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, will usher in a trial system of such nature after the Spring Festival, which falls on February 10, to increase the transparency of the financial status of government officials, a discipline official said Monday.

"The fight against corruption remains a tough task for China, and the public has high expectations for the system," Mei Heqing, spokesman for the standing committee of the Guangzhou City Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CPC), told a press conference held by the city's anti-corruption watchdog.

"However, we must fully consider the current status quo while pushing forward the reform and prevent social turbulence caused by conflicts of interest," Mei said.

He noted that not all civil servants are required to declare their assets, as the system is mainly designed for officials holding major posts.

Meanwhile, assets that must be declared include civil servants' real estate holdings, the employment status of the spouses, sons and daughters of civil servants, and civil servants' investments, Mei said.

"The asset declaration and disclosure system is crucial to the fight against corruption, but it can not eradicate all the problems regarding corruption," he said.

"We need to push forward this reform in an active, yet gradual and orderly, way," Mei said.

Similar pilot programs have already been put in place in parts of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Hunan Province.

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