Chinese Party official sacked after falling foul of ‘human flesh’ censors

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Chinese Communist Party cadres need to be careful about their holiday videos. A government official has been sacked after anti-corruption vigilantes uploaded video footage of officials visiting the Pyramids, dancing with models on a catwalk in Turkey and sightseeing in Dubai while on a publicly funded “study” trip.

The Communist Party is seeking to show it is serious about doing something about corruption as public discontent grows at factory closures and rising unemployment. A big part of this is cracking down on junkets at taxpayers’ expense.

A web posting titled “Overseas study or overseas travel?” shows 13 civil servants from Zhaoqing, close to the city of Guangzhou in Guangdong province, on a 14-day tour to Africa and the Middle East in 2007. The footage is cut in a lively way, with hip-hop music blaring as the cadres visit an ostrich farm, walk on Table Mountain, or enjoy some off-roading in the Dubai desert. The officials’ names have been blanked out but their titles are displayed and reveal the culprits to be department heads of the local government’s finance and legal affairs bureaux, planning office, as well as the local auditors or “discipline and inspection” office.

The local deputy Communist Party secretary was sacked, reported the Guangzhou Daily. The cadres had fallen foul of internet vigilantes on what is known as the “human flesh search engine”.

The scandal comes as news emerged yesterday of the arrest of Yu Bing, Beijing’s top internet surveillance tsar, who is being held on suspicion of taking more than 40 million yuan (£4m) in bribes and framing a business rival.