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17:04, August 12, 2010

Officials asked to quit golf association in Wenzhou
Officials in Wenzhou City of Zhejiang Province were asked to withdraw from local golf association at a meeting held on August 11th, which is presided over by Chen Derong, Vice-Governor of Zhejiang Province and CPC secretary of Wenzhou.

From August 9th to August 10th, local newspaper in Wenzhou city published a whole-page advertisement that celebrated the founding of Wenzhou Golf Association. More than 30 city officials including the vice director of the city public security bureau were found to appear among the list of leading group of the Golf Association, including chairman, vice-chairman, honorary vice- chairman, etc, almost covering half of the total. It immediately led to hot discussions on the Internet and most net surfers held a negative attitude towards it.

In China, golf is usually believed to a "noble" sports means. Its high expenses only allow few rich people to play. According to the website of Wenzhou Golf Association, its membership costs 398,000 yuan(58,600 US dolloar) plus an annual fee of 7,200 yuan (1,050 US dollars). Many net surfers question the legitimacy of government officials to hold leading positions in the golf association and whether corruption exists.

According to code of ethics to ensure clean governance issued by CPC central committee February this year, government and party officials are now allowed to do a part-time job in economic entities and social organizations, and cannot accept the arrangement of fitness and recreation activities which affect the performance of their official duties, and they should not use public funds to participate in high-end consumption of entertainment, fitness activities or obtain various forms of club membership.

A meeting was quickly held by the Wenzhou City government to deal with the event. Those officials who participate in the golf association are asked to withdraw from it unconditionally; some of them would be further investigated and need to do self-criticism.

By People's Daily Online, August 12, 2010, translated and edited by Yan Meng
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