'Naked official' in Guangzhou reportedly under investigation

Updated: 2014-05-23 08:07

By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou (China Daily)

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Fang Xuan, former deputy Party chief of Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, is under investigation because of his status as a luoguan, or "naked official", Hong Kong media reported on Thursday.

Officials with Guangdong's provincial commission of discipline inspection refused to confirm whether Fang has been placed under investigation.

Luoguan describes officials whose spouses and children have left China.

Fang is the first and highest ranking official forced to prematurely retire because of his luoguan status in Guangdong. Local media reported that he was instructed to resign last month, but they did not reveal where Fang's spouse and children have emigrated.

Hu Chunhua, Party chief of Guangdong province, promised in March to take measures to investigate luoguan according to Party regulations.

According to media reports, Guangdong began investigating luoguan since the end of last year by asking officials to report their properties, the employment status of spouses and children and exit and entry records.

Luoguan will be dismissed or asked to retire early if they refuse to ask their family members to give up their overseas residence permits.

According to Hong Kong media, many Party and government officials in cities in the Pearl River Delta have asked their spouses to return to the mainland and resume their household registrations after Fang's case was exposed.

Zhou Tianming, former deputy head of Foshan, a prosperous city 20 kilometers from Guangzhou, was demoted to deputy mayor of Yunfu, a remote city in western Guangdong, last December. Hong Kong media said Zhou, who had worked in Foshan for decades, is a luoguan.

Liu Hai, Party chief of Jiangmen, has asked his wife, who lives in Hong Kong, to give up her Hong Kong residence permit, and Liang Weidong, Party chief of Shunde district of Foshan, has asked his family members to give up their foreign residence permits, Hong Kong media reported.

More than 30 officials township officials have also been forced to retire or have been transferred to nominal posts in Dongguan when they were found to be luoguan, according to Hong Kong media.

Zhang Yiri, an associate professor from Guangzhou City Polytechnic, said the central government's policy to prevent luoguan from being promoted has been significant in fighting corruption.

"Luoguan's patriotism and resistance to corruption must be questioned when they are alone in the mainland," Zhang said.

Contact the author at zhengcaixiong@chinadaily.com.cn