Chinese Senior Officials Enjoy Massages at Public’s Expense

March 8, 2009 Updated: March 8, 2009

In Shenzhen city, Guangdong Province on the southern coast of China, government officials, from high ranking seniors to lower level cadres, are provided with the luxury of massages at the public’s expense.

According to a report by Radio Free Asia, a bulletin  titled “Senior Cadre’s Recuperation Services for 2009” was published in Shenzhen Construction Bureau website. The bulletin, issued by the Qilin Mountain Sanatorium, stated that each government high official is entitled to an annual expense of 4,000 yuan (US $584) for services including foot and body massages while a cadre has an allocation of 2,100 yuan ($310). All the expenses will be paid by the tax payers.

Shenzhen has more than 200 high level officials and over 2,500 lower level cadres, which means about 6.5 million yuan ($0.95 million) will be spent on the officials’ massage services.

Liu Zhengyou, a peasant  who lost his land to the authorities’ land exploitation, said this is only one of the many privileges that Chinese officials enjoy at the public’s expense. He also criticized the authorities’ unrelenting extravagance. “In my hometown 4,000 yuan could secure five or six people for one year,” he said. “Shenzhen officials are wasting our tax money on their feet while so many people are struggling for their livelihoods. Is a pair of feet nobler than a human life? ” He said the money would have done so much good if it could be used on training immigrant workers and helping them find jobs.