“Warmly congratulate Liu Zhijun on being the 1st top official to disclose assets.” Via: Weibo.
A call for government officials to declare their assets or retire their posts went viral on Weibo on Wednesday.
While calls for greater transparency are often heard on the Chinese web, the post which kicked off this latest campaign was by Hainan Normal University professor Liu Li: “If officials think their personal assets are private, their only choice is to step down.”
Sarcastic netizens chimed in, congratulating Liu Zhijun “for declaring his assets”. Liu, the former railways minister with a personal fortune of over 800 million yuan, is currently on trial for corruption.
“We don’t need to learn from the West, we just need to look at Macau,” one person wrote, referring Liu [Li]’s mention of an interview with the head of Macau’s Personal Data Protection Office. The Chan Hoi Fan interview appeared in the liberal Southern Metropolis Daily in January, when Macau passed a law requiring officials to declare their assets.
Macau’s Assets Declaration Law went into force in April after a two-year debate. Under the law, also dubbed the Sunshine Act, officials are required to declare all of their local and overseas assets.
Some lawmakers had opposed the plan arguing that even their spouses did not know about all their properties.
China’s southern economic powerhouse province, Guangdong, had sent study groups to Macau to find ways to replicate the law, yet no progress has been made on public declarations of assets on the mainland.