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Officials in North China Told to Reveal Assets Upon Promotion

Chinese officials in northern Shaanxi province will have to declare their assets upon promotion, local state media said today, in a sign that anti-graft pilot programs are spreading across the country.

The province issued a document yesterday saying that newly promoted officials will have to report their wealth and that of their spouse and children, including property, cars, bank deposits and financial assets, the Shaanxi Daily reported.

The document comes as President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign has led to officials across China being detained or removed from their posts. In November, the party’s discipline watchdog said it will start a pilot program for officials to disclose their assets, yet few details have been released.

The Shaanxi officials also have to reveal their passports or other travel documents, and their children’s business and residence overseas, the Shaanxi daily newspaper said. It did not say whether any of the information needs to be reported publicly.

The southern city of Guangzhou said in February it will make officials disclose their assets. Yet activists who have publicly advocated the same thing have been arrested and sentenced to jail. Xu Zhiyong, the most prominent of a loosely-knit group known as the New Citizens’ Movement, was sentenced in January to four years in jail on charges of gathering a crowd to disturb public order, after the demonstrators unfurled banners demanding China’s leaders reveal their assets.

Other attempts to make officials’ wealth more transparent include a land ministry proposal to create access to property records across the country. The idea prompted a backlash, with the People’s Daily saying in a February editorial that real estate holdings are a “personal affair.”

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