More Communist Party officials expected to flee abroad

More Communist Party officials expected to flee abroad

Tuesday, 25 February, 2014, 4:48am

Keith Zhai

Growing numbers of corrupt officials are likely to flee the country because of the crackdown on graft, according to a new government think tank report.

image001-1The number of Communist Party cadres escaping abroad may also rise because a lack of extradition pacts with some countries means fugitives may find bolt holes overseas, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said.

The academy’s annual Blue Book of the Rule of Law said the anti-corruption watchdog should pay greater attention to officials moving their families or assets abroad and closely monitor people joining government service to nip graft in the bud.

“The phenomenon of the flight of officials is likely to escalate, particularly under the current anti-graft wave,” said Lu Yanbin, a researcher at the academy’s Institute of Law and the co-author of the yearbook. “Corrupt cadres are running out of places to live in this country.”

The anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan promised in January that the Communist Party would increase efforts to punish officials who flee overseas. Some 1,631 fugitives – government officials or people working for state enterprises – were arrested in 2011, according to official figures.

Stolen assets of nearly eight billion yuan (HK$10 billion) were recovered from the suspects.

A previous report from the CASS said about 18,000 officials fled the country between 1995 and 2008, and smuggled out assets totaling 800 billion yuan.

The Blue Book also warned against senior officials promoting their aides and creating a “secretary gang” that may breed “organised crime and major violations”.

Former Zhou aides probed include Li Hualin, the former deputy general manager of China National Petroleum Corporation, and Ji Wenlin, the former deputy governor of Hainan. The yearbook expressed concern that the anti-corruption drive would punish so many officials it might lead to social instability.

Experts at the academy also predicted a pilot scheme requiring party officials to disclose their assets would be introduced in more areas this year.

Hundreds of officials in Guangdong province were required to disclose details of their finances in January, but the information was not made public.

The annual report suggests the scheme should cover relatively recently appointed officials, but veteran government staff should be excluded.

January’s initiative came in the same month that Xu Zhiyong, a civil rights activist who has campaigned to get officials to disclose their assets, was jailed for four years in Beijing for “assembling a crowd to disrupt order in a public place”.

The Blue Book also released an annual list on government transparency.

Among the 55 state institutions listed, the National Railway Administration came bottom of the table with a score of zero because its website was not publicly accessible. The state bureau handling petitions was second last.

The criteria for openness included publishing an annual report and making information easily accessible to the public.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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