Officials' families, beware

Updated: 2015-01-28 08:20

(China Daily)

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Officials' families, beware

Liu Tienan (center), former vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission and former chief of the National Energy Administration, receives life imprisonment on Wednesday, Langfang Intermediate People's Court. [Photo/Xinhua]

All people in a society should regulate their behavior so that the society can operate in an orderly manner. This is particularly true of those officials whose posts are eyed by relatives and friends as a means to funnel economic interests their way, says an article in People's Daily.

In recent years, numerous cases of corruption involving officials and their family members or subordinates have repeatedly underscored the self-evident truth that officials must rein in the people with close ties to them and must not connive with them to capitalize on their positions for illegal gain, President Xi Jinping said at a recent plenary session of the country's top anti-graft watchdog.

Xi's remarks also mean that officials, especially those holding key positions, must erect a "high-voltage" electric fence around the power they hold in their hands, which their family members, cronies or disciples are not allowed to touch.

Officials should also bear in mind that power is a double-edged sword that can injure the ones who wield it, should they use it inappropriately. There have been a lot of cases where a person's official post has led all of his or her family members into corruption. It is not uncommon in some regions for some officials' titles to be used by their spouses or children as capital to acquire commercial projects. In some regions, corrupt officials have even formed a large swathe of corruption networks with themselves as the axis.

All these malpractices will sooner or later lead to the same scenario in which all involved will be caught and stand trial. We have seen a lot of such lessons that an official's power leads to the destruction of his or her whole family.

It may be unavoidable for officials to be asked to do a favor by their relatives or friends. However, they should know which can be done and which cannot if they bear in mind ethical values and hold on to the bottom line of the country's laws and Party disciplines.