Chinese officials’ deepening “watch phobia”; The disappearing Vacheron Constantin watch of Fan Jiyue, county Party secretary of Lushan

Latest case shows Chinese officials’ deepening “watch phobia”

2013-04-23 04:12:46 GMT2013-04-23 12:12:46(Beijing Time)  SINA English

By Jia Xiaoguang, Sina English

A distinct mark left by wearing watch on the wrist of a local official has solicited the attention of China’s watchful netizens recently, who linked their finding with the possibility of the official’s involvement in corruption. Photo shows Fan Jiyue, county Party secretary of Lushan hit by the recent deadly earthquake in southwestern Sichuan Province, had taken off his wrist watch before he started an inspection visit to the quake-stricken areas with Premier Li Keqiang. There is a ring of white stain on his left wrist, a clear evidence of wearing a watch, as the photo displays. Some netizens then found a file photo of Fan delivering a speech, which testifies to the existence of the “vanished” watch. It is a deluxe watch branded Vacheron Constantin, costing a staggering price up to 210 thousand yuan, some other person pointed out. Fan’s motivation of picking off the watch before showing up in the public is then accused of deliberately dodging the public supervision and covering up his extravagant life style, which, however, ended up with much wider self-exposure. His case, a latest instance of official’s rising fear of carelessly exposing their costly personal assets such as wristwatches, is preceded by the notorious “Brother Watch” Yang Dacai, former head of the work safety administration of NW China’s Shaanxi Province. Yang was found wearing luxury wristwatches and was later expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) over engagement in serious disciplinary violations in February.

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