Government officials in China risk the sack if they use their
influence to benefit a lover or become involved in other forms of
corrupt behavior, according to a regulation released by the central
government on Sunday.
Chu Huaizhi, professor with the Peking University School of Law
said having a mistress is not only a moral fault but also a
stimulant to corruption.
"Officials take advantage of their power to seek benefits for
their lovers," Chu said.
He said punishing the civil servants according to moral
standards is a basic requirement of a civilized society and a
"Civil servants should be models of morality for the public and
they must have high moral standards," Chu said.
He said the public demands that officials' wrongdoings and
misconduct be punished.
"The regulation shows the government is listening to the
public," he said.
Many officials punished for taking bribes recently turned out to
have lovers or mistresses.
For example, Du Shicheng, former deputy secretary of the
Shandong Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China
(CPC), was expelled from the Party for taking huge bribes and
leading a dissolute life.
Local media reported that many of Du's wrong-doings were
connected with his lovers.
"His mistresses egged him on," reported Zhi Yin, a national
Chinese magazine which mainly carries feature stories.
An online survey on one of China's portal websites, www.qq.com,
shows that about 81 percent of more than 92,000 netizens who cast
votes agree that a public employee's extramarital affairs are by no
means a mere moral issue, but always breed corruption.
The 55-article regulation, scheduled to take effect on June 1,
details a variety of wrongdoings and misconduct and is designed "to
make sure government officials perform their duties according to
The regulation stipulates that government officials who engage
in corruption, organize superstitious gatherings, use drugs, engage
in the sex trade or fail to fulfill their duties can be demoted or
The regulation also allows for the firing of government
officials who abuse or abandon family members or refuse to support
their elderly relations.
The regulation is "China's first to systematically stipulate
what administrative punishments civil servants abusing their power
will receive," sources said.
A press conference on detailing the regulation was jointly held
by the Central Committee for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the
Communist Party of China (CPC), Ministry of Supervision, Ministry
of Personnel and the Legislative Affairs Office of the State
Council on Sunday.
Qu Wanxiang, Vice Minister of Supervision, said "the regulation
will help consolidate the CPC's ruling position, safeguard state
power, improve ethical standards of officials and persuade them to
adopt a clean, honest and down-to-earth work style to better serve
The regulation said if a civil servant's failure to perform his
or her duties results in accidents, disasters, environmental
pollution and "mass protests", they can be reprimanded, demoted or
sacked according to the severity of the incident.
The same punishment will be given to officials who fail to
report or deal with major accidents, disasters and criminal cases
in a timely manner. Officials can also be fired if their lax
management causes public funds for disaster relief, poverty relief,
citizen resettlement, social security and land appropriation
compensation to be embezzled, damaged or lost.
Officials found guilty of fraud and misleading their superiors
and the public will also face punishment, said the regulation.
The regulation said officials who repress criticism or retaliate
against whistleblowers or destroy their letters or disclose details
in the whistle-blower letters to the targeted will be reprimanded,
demoted or fired accordingly.
Public employees who physically abuse and illegally detain
citizens will also be punished along with those who interfere in
elections by using threats, graft or violence.
Officials who illegally exit the country or stay overseas
illegally will be fired.
Public employees who infringe on the state's reputation,
organize or participate in anti-state gatherings or demonstrations,
organize or attend illegal organizations and violate national
policies on religion will be reprimanded, demoted or fired.
(Xinhua News Agency April 30, 2007)