BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Communist Party of China (CPC) has ordered officials to shun high-end clubs and promised severe penalties for for party goers in its campaign against unacceptable practices.
"Some CPC officials frequented private clubs, enjoying themselves with feasting and other entertainment, some even engaging in power-for-money or power-for-sex deals," said the circular made public Monday.
These practices have a "serious negative effect on Party and political work styles and social ethos," said the CPC discipline agency, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and the steering group of the CPC's "mass line" campaign.
Party officials have been asked to promise that they will not enter nor accept membership of private clubs.
Public anger has been rising against private clubs, which are often illicitly built with public resources, sometimes in historical buildings or parks, and frequented by the powerful and rich. Such clubs are illegally established and operated, disregard the public interest and are hotbeds of extravagance and corruption, according to the circular.
Monday's circular follows numerous moves against official decadence by the CPC in the past year, including banning of flower arrangements in meeting rooms, expensive liquor, delicacies such as shark fin, and luxurious gifts during festivals.
In the latest offensive, Chinese officials were asked to set examples through simple and frugal funerals.
The circular asks for enhanced supervision and targeted measures in the fight against "unhealthy practices in clubs" to be incorporated into the "mass-line" campaign.
The "mass-line" campaign was launched in June to bridge gaps between CPC officials and members, and the general public, while cleaning up undesirable work styles such as formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance.
Violators will be strictly punished and their cases exposed to deter others, the circular said.