Thu, October 11, 2012
China > Mainland

College student seeks information of official's income

2012-10-11 09:16:47 GMT2012-10-11 17:16:47(Beijing Time)

By Zhao Wei, sina English

This time, again, it is the college student who is spearheading a campaign to fight against the die-hard official corruption.

A college student sent an open application via express mail to Fujian Communications Department and Fujian Provincial Department of Finance asking for the public exposure of Li Jinde's annual salary in 2011. 

The student, named Yang Pan, at Chongqing Technology and Business University, said: “being informed of government affairs is part of my civil rights.” 

The request of the student came after Li Jinde, director of the Fujian Communications Department, sparked public fury after a newspaper based in Kunming had been revoked for its coverage of his extravagant life.

Public fury: Newspaper scrapped for extravagant official coverage

Wang Keqin, assistant editor-in-chief with the Economic Observer newspaper, wrote on his Weibo Tuesday that the page A30 of the City Times, a newspaper based in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, had been revoked for the coverage of a senior official in Fujian Province.

Hundreds of thousands of newspaper print-outs have been scrapped and the page concerned has been replaced by a full-page advertisement early this morning.  

A journalist of People’s Daily failed to contact Zhou Zhichen, president of the City Times, to confirm the message as the telephone remained unanswered. Zhou, however, wrote a post on his Weibo around 21:10 Tuesday night: “We’d rather keep silence than tell a lie.”    

An official weibo of the Global Times said, instead, that the page proof had not been destroyed.

According to Wang Keqin’s Weibo, the story published on the nullified newspaper page was about Li Dejin, director of the Fujian Communications Department, who was seen in public wearing a 50,000 yuan ($7,905) Rado wrist watch and a Hermès belt that cost some 13,000 yuan.  

An insider who has read the report said that it indeed describes Li's expensive watch and belt, but there is no point discarding the page. Arranging for a new round of pressrun at the last minute was only to lead the situation out of control. 

Online report on China, a website affiliated to Xinhua News Agency, wrote a comment on its Weibo account: A photo of a senior official in Fujian Province wearing luxurious watch attracts thousands of onlookers, while all the parties involved have so far kept mute.  

The anecdote “Watch Brother” Yang, hyped up also by netizens, has just receded with the Xi,an official detained for corruption charges, a new wave of online anti-graft campaign sets in, with Fujian’s Li as a new target.

China boasts the largest number of Internet users in the world.

For all the Chinese officials living in the public gaze and in the whirlpool of public opinions, please also face the public doubts openly and in an honest way.

Back to the special case, it is highly advisable that the official implicated and authorities in charge speed up the investigation and straighten things out as soon as possible.

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Officials post their financial information online


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