It appears that large numbers of Chinese government and Party officials are preparing to leave China by moving their families and wealth overseas first. This phenomenon of officials—who live in China but have prepared to move elsewhere—is so common that there is even a name for them in Chinese: “naked officials” (裸官).
Roughly 90 percent of Politburo Central Committee members and Central Discipline Inspection Commission members have family working or living overseas, according to Hong Kong’s Trend Magazine.
Many Party and government officials have already fled, often with ill-gotten gains. According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, between 1995 and 2008 as many as 18,000 Chinese government and Party officials fled China—transferring stolen assets worth $130 billion.
Why is this phenomenon so widespread? And what are ordinary Chinese saying about it?