China energy officials urged to educate families to avoid graft

Chinese energy officials must educate their children and spouses to shun corruption, China's energy administration said on Thursday, taking aim at the practice of corrupt officials stashing ill-gotten gains with relatives -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Chinese energy officials must educate their children and spouses to shun corruption, China's energy administration said on Thursday, taking aim at the practice of corrupt officials stashing ill-gotten gains with relatives -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese energy officials must educate their children and spouses to shun corruption, China's energy administration said on Thursday, taking aim at the practice of corrupt officials stashing ill-gotten gains with relatives.

A crackdown on state-owned enterprises and government officials with ties to the energy industry has been central to President Xi Jinping's sweeping campaign against graft. "We require that party members and cadres not only be strict with themselves, but also strengthen education and restraint of their spouses and children to prevent relatives from suffering setbacks and committing errors," the National Energy Administration said in a notice.

It is common for corrupt officials in China to hide illicit assets in the accounts of trusted relatives.

Government investigations in the energy sector have felled senior officials in the administration as well as the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

China's anti-graft watchdog said last month it had launched a series of investigations into state-owned firms including China Petrochemical Corp., Asia's largest oil refiner.

The crackdown has ensnared Zhou Yongkang, the former chief of domestic security and previously an oil industry man, as well as Jiang Jiemin, former head of CNPC, the parent of PetroChina Co. Ltd.

China's top prosecutor has said a senior official of China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) was suspected of having received bribes, the first executive from the offshore oil and gas firm embroiled by Beijing's war on graft.

Xi has warned that corruption could undermine Communist Party rule and has vowed to catch high-flying "tigers" as well as lowly "flies".