BEIJING - China's central government has closed 625 of the 971 local government liaison offices in Beijing after the public criticized the offices for allegedly bribing central government officials and wasting public funds.
According to a detailed list the State Council released Tuesday, the offices shut down include eight that represented major cities, 189 that represented local government departments at various levels, 374 that represented counties and 54 that represented development zones and other government units.
On Jan 19, the State Council's General Office issued a circular urging a reduction in the number of local government liaison offices in Beijing.
The circular also called for stricter supervision of the offices to cut costs and fight corruption.
"After the State Council circular, many local governments set up special teams to investigate their liaison offices and map out plans to regulate them," said an unnamed official from the Government Offices Administration of the State Council.
"Applications to keep the offices open were strictly reviewed. The offices whose management was disorderly or unclear were eliminated, as were the ones that did not function satisfactorily," said the official.
Some 296 offices representing major cities and all 50 offices that represent China's provinces and special economic zones were permitted to keep offices in the capital.