China issued a new anti-corruption regulation on Wednesday that will discourage village-level officials from engaging in bribery and other abuses of power.
The regulation, issued by the General Office of the State Council and the General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, is aimed at strengthening ties between village leaders and villagers, according to a joint statement by the offices.
A “clean work style” for village officials should serve as a foundation for promoting democracy, protecting the interests of farmers and promoting rural stability, the statement said.
Under the regulation, village officials are forbidden from misappropriating collective assets such as land and other natural resources, manipulating village elections and supporting criminal gangs, the statement said.
The officials are also prohibited from abusing their power to seek illicit gains or favors for their families, according to the regulation.
The central government warned that any illicit gains by corrupt officials will be confiscated or recovered and that they will be referred for prosecution.
The government also said that the regulation will serve as an important basis for gauging the performance of village officials in handing out promotions.
According to the regulation, township governments will carry out annual appraisals of village officials to ensure that they have been abiding by the regulation.