Front Page of the Day

"Naked officials" get light restrictions

The Beijing Times, July 26, 2010

The Beijing Times headlines today's newspaper with the story running at the top of Xinhua's Chinese language website and on a number of papers around the country: the government's new rules to deal with "naked officials", i.e. government officials whose family have emigrated to another country and who are therefore considered likely to flee China once they have saved enough money from corrupt practices such as embezzlement and bribery.

The rules are not very harsh. The China Daily explains them thusly:

The rules stipulate that these officials must disclose their rank, the whereabouts of their spouses and children if they have moved overseas, while overseeing any and all roles these officials play in matters of public affairs. These rules also dictate the procedures these officials must follow when applying for personal passports, as well as requiring them to disclose any travel plans to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan prior to departure.

The large photo shows an outdoor stand offering trips to seaside resort Beidaihe. According to the newspaper, the stand is run by a "fake" travel agency. The caption connects the photo with a story reported in the newspaper a days previously in which a travel agency using fake documents had arranged a bus from Beijing to Shenyang. The bus had an accident and three people died.

Another noteworthy headline is at the bottom in the box: "New demolition laws not dead yet". The story says that a Peking University professor believes new laws governing how residents are removed from their residences to make way for demolition and new development is still on the cards.

He believes the law will be considered together with amendments to China's land law, which will also cover taxes and levies on peasant farmers' houses. The professor's statements come after much media speculation that the new law was already unlikely to pass.

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