Translation: Why aren’t we requiring finanacial disclosure by common folks?
[NOTE] This is a translation of a report filed by (王和岩) Wang Heyan in (财经网) Caijing Net two days ago. The content of this report has been making quick rounds in various Chinese Internet forums. It was also picked by other news medias.
The Communist Party Group of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee (CPPCC) is staying at the Friendship Hotel. The members of this group are mostly current and former chairmen of CPPCC at province, city and regional levels. They are all experienced officials. [Note: CPPCC is generally where officials are parked after losing or retiring from power (i.e., active party or government positions).] Since they are no longer in the administrative structure and are not constrained in what they can say as before, I had high hopes to dig out something interesting from them.
However, things didn’t exactly go as I planned. Even though they are no longer in power, they kept their
arrogance dignity intact, and are simply inaccessible.
Thankfully not all are such types. I waited for two days at the hotel and finally caught up with one member. As he exited from the cafeteria, I approached and followed him. This gentleman looked affable. So I took the chance to ask: “*** Chairman, what do you think about the concept of financial disclosure by officials?”
He smiled and replied: “I am sorry. I didn’t study this issue.”
I asked: “Xinjiang and Zhejiang are both trying out this regulation in some areas. Is your province interested in testing this reform idea?
He said: “I don’t know.”
“Did your group discuss this topic in the last couple of days?” I persisted.
He kept on walking and said: “No. The Communist Party Group didn’t bring up this.”
I pushed further: “Would you raise this issue and propose its adaptation?”
He looked at me and asked back: “No I won’t. If there is to be financial disclosures, why not ask common folks to disclose their finances? Why aren’t bosses of enterprises telling their workers their profits?”
Financial disclosure by common folks? I couldn’t believe my ears. Then I asked: “Bosses? Are you referring to senior managers at state owned enterprises?”
His reply was very clear. “No. I meant owners of private companies.”
I was astonished and couldn’t come up with more questions.
It is common for officials to claim that they are no better than common folks. Well, it seems that they are truly trying to be common folks in this matter.
[FURTHER NOTE] Xinhua just came out with a report on Xinjiang’s trial of financial disclosure rules for officials.
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