AN OPEN letter demanding China’s Communist Party leaders reveal their financial assets has been signed by more than 60 Chinese academics, lawyers and human rights activists.
The party-run Global Times newspaper said the letter, intended to condemn corruption, would be presented to the Beijing parliament when it meets for its annual session in March.
Such petitions are usually ignored, but the public denunciation highlights a major challenge facing new party supremo Xi Jinping, who has personally warned that corruption could fuel unrest and result in the collapse of Communist rule.
The letter calls on the 205 newly named members of the party’s Central Committee to divulge their personal wealth. The call follows a series of scandals involving party members.
“This is the first step in fighting corruption”, said Hu Jia, a rights activist and signatory. “These 205 are the highest-level officials in China,” said Mr Hu, whose movements are restricted because of his campaigning and who was being confronted by police as he spoke. “They are the ones with the greatest risk of being involved in corruption. So we are calling on them to take the lead,” he said.