Well, that escalated quickly: after first reporting that Guangdong Province had punished 255 government bureaucrats for being “naked officials”, an investigation has revealed Guangdong now has 1,000 such cases, the BBC reports.
Called a “luoguan” (裸官) in Chinese, a naked official is a government official who has sent his wife and children to live and study abroad, thus being a man that is “naked” without his family.
Naked officials were told to bring their families home, quit their jobs, or be demoted.
In return, around 200 Guangdong officials have asked their families to return to China, Xinhua reports. Another 866 had agreed to accept demotion, including nine at a mayoral level.
And we can’t stress this enough: being a naked official is not, strictly speaking, in violation of any laws or regulations. Instead, as the BBC reports, China’s communist leaders want to stamp out the practice because they believe it is linked to corruption because naked officials are able to send any money obtained illegally abroad.
Instead, the problem of naked officials isn’t one of breaking the law, but of public image. Yang Jianwei, vice president of the Guangdong Provincial CPC Party School, told the People’s Daily, “Naked officials are not necessarily problematic officials. But when you are holding a high post in the country alone by yourself, how can you make the people believe that you’ll dedicate all you have to serve them?”
We’re not sure how to solve the problem of a demonstrated lack of faith in leaders they had no influence in selecting, but if the laws aren’t changed to make the practice of being a naked official illegal, then we’d suggest perhaps changing the negative connotations of the word "naked”.
If a 70′s country song can’t do it, then maybe organizing public bicycle rides of a nude nature may change the public’s negative stance towards nakedness.
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