China removes 160,000 'phantom staff' from government payroll

Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to root out corruption.

Story highlights

  • China says it has removed 162,629 "phantom staff" from provincial government payrolls
  • Beijing has launched a campaign against official corruption and misuse of public money
  • 114,418 official vehicles have also been scrapped as China's president roots out graft.
China has removed 162,629 "phantom staff" from government payrolls, as Beijing presses on with a campaign against official corruption and misuse of public money, state media reported.
Hebei province in central China was the worst offender, with 55,793 officials found to be getting paid even though they never worked, followed by Sichuan and Henan, state news agency Xinhua reported on Monday.
No "phantom employees" were found in Shanghai and Tibet, the report added.
President Xi Jinping has made rooting out corruption a top priority since taking power amid widespread suspicion that government officials use their position for personal gain.
The People's Daily also said that 114,418 official vehicles had been scrapped out of a total of 119,846.
China has promised to phase out the use of government vehicles by the end of 2015, except for those used for emergencies and law enforcement.
The news reports did not shed light on how employees could receive a paycheck without showing up for work, but Hong Kong-based commentator Frank Ching said it was not unheard of for senior Chinese officials to employ friends and family members.