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Jargon Watch: Naked official

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Like the Irish, immigration is part of the Chinese psyche. Reading an article in Sina.com, I was reminded of one particular tranche of Chinese immigration: prior to, and during the handover of Hong Kong; a number of families chose to move to Canada and other countries. The families lived in places with large existing Chinese communities like Vancouver and the patriarch would often commute to do business back in Hong Kong. These commuters were nicknamed astronauts because they spent so much time in the air.

Chinese space heroine

A trend for the families of Chinese officials to conduct a similar kind of transplanted lifestyle has spawned a new term of ‘naked official‘. A number of officials whose families had emigrated abroad (presumably beyond the reach of the state) were subsequently convicted of charges relating to them abusing their position. They are considered to be suspicious of preparing a bolt-hole abroad.

Kudos to Xinhua via Sina.com: China keeps a watchful eye on officials with family members living abroad