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China punished more than 71,000 for ‘hedonism’, corruption in 2017

An eight-point frugality code, introduced by the CPC politburo’s Central Committee in December 2012, aims to improve party and government officials’ working style and ethics.

world Updated: Jan 18, 2018 16:27 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
China,Communist Party of China,President Xi Jinping
The number of people punished saw a sharp increase in 2017, up from 57,700 the previous year.(File photo)

The Communist Party of China punished more than 71,000 people for breaking a strict eight-point frugality code laid down by President Xi Jinping as part of his ongoing anti-corruption campaign in 2017.

The party’s central committee for discipline inspection (CCDI) said 71,644 people were booked under 51,008 cases. There was no let-up in investigations and punishments at the end of the 19th CPC Congress held in Beijing in October — as many as 10,672 people were punished in December.

State media reported that the number of people punished saw a sharp increase in 2017, up from 57,700 the previous year.

The eight-point frugality code, introduced by the CPC politburo’s Central Committee in December 2012, aims to improve party and government officials’ working style and ethics. The code broadly covers the areas of formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance.

Implementing the code, authorities across China shut down 190 golf courses, and 625 offices set up by local authorities in Beijing were shuttered.

“The government has banned the construction of new government buildings and has vacated nearly 22.3 million square meters of government offices that were being misused,” state media reported.

The reports further said authorities will keep a watchful eye on the upcoming Spring Festival or Chinese New Year holidays in February.

“To fully implement frugality rules, discipline inspection departments will focus on public institutions at lower levels, such as state-owned enterprises and financial institutions, as well as county and township governments,” said a recent guideline issued by the CCDI.

This will be part of the efforts to “step up efforts against hedonism and extravagance during the upcoming New Year and Spring Festival holidays”.

A report in the official Xinhua news agency said: “Inspectors will expose violations that take more subtle forms, the document said, noting that some government departments and state enterprises host expensive dinners at their own canteens to escape supervision.”

The CCDI also warned officials against taking festival celebrations as an excuse to lobby their superiors for promotions.

“The public is encouraged to tip off authorities about officials who violate the rules,” the CCDI said.

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 16:27 IST