China Voice: Curb official receptions through "cage of regulations"
                 English.news.cn | 2013-12-09 15:08:58 | Editor: Lu Hui

BEIJING, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese central authorities on Sunday issued more detailed and easier-to-enforce rules on official receptions, showing the resolve of containing extravagance within a "cage of regulations" and rooting out corruption.

The 26-item directive details regulations on the use of public funds for receptions held by local authorities when hosting visiting Party or government officials. It explicitly lists 38 banned practices for receptions to promote frugality and curb waste.

The document prohibits cigarettes, upmarket liquors, and dishes containing shark fins, bird nests and wild animal products at official receptions.

It also orders officials below the provincial level to avoid staying in hotel suites on business trips.

After taking the helm of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in November last year, and later as the country's top leader in March, Xi Jinping has vowed to fight corruption and harmful work styles, calling on the entire Party to stay on full alert, as corruption is a threat to the Party's survival.

Almost 20,000 Chinese officials had been punished by the end of October for breaches of the "eight-point" anti-bureaucracy and extravagance-busting guidelines announced by the central authorities late last year.

Authorities have issued a series of directives to promote frugality and curb extravagance in the past year. From a ban on newly built government and Party buildings, to pre-holiday bans on exchanging items such as calendars, New Year cards, mooncakes and fireworks at public expense, the directives are well targeted.

Central authorities publicized late last month 65-item regulations to standardize fund management for various uses, including official travel, receptions, meetings, and official vehicles and buildings to ban Party and government extravagance.

It is widely believed to be the detailed version of the "eight-point" guidelines issued last year, which ask CPC officials to reduce pomp, ceremony, bureaucratic visits and meetings.

With the introduction of this series of regulations and relevant directives, China's frugality campaign could gradually embark on a standardized and institutional track, instead of a gust-of-wind temporary movement.

Countermeasures aiming to dodge these rules, however, should be guarded against and rectified. Enhanced supervision is needed to ensure that the rules are followed instead of being reduced to mere words.

Related:

China bans wild animals from official dinner tables

BEIJING, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- China's central authorities on Sunday published a regulation that explicitly ruled out dishes containing shark fins, bird nests and wild animal products in official reception dinners.  Full story

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