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China Daily Website

Lavish behavior punished

Updated: 2013-03-20 06:47
By Zhao Yinan ( China Daily)

The Party discipline watchdog named and shamed officials, companies and institutions on Tuesday that it found to have violated the eight bureaucracy-busting guidelines announced by the central government late last year.

The people involved in all six cases have been stripped of their Party or administrative posts, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, the top discipline supervisory body.

The watchdog said in a statement that it will severely punish officials whose conduct violates the guidelines.

Party officials will be held accountable and will be made to return what they have unlawfully taken, it said.

The commission warned that officials should refrain from taking a wait-and-see attitude in implementing the guidelines and should set examples for others to follow.

The discipline watchdog said it will "earnestly" work to ensure the implementation of the guidelines and promote the building of a long-term mechanism to improve their implementation.

In one case, the head of Qianwang village in Jiangxi province was sacked for holding lavish banquets to host government and Party officials when the village committee moved into a new building. The Party chief and the head of Qingshui township were also being removed from their posts.

Qianwang is in a poverty-stricken county that receives government aid, but it held a housewarming party in January to host officials and entrepreneurs, the People's Daily website reported. Widespread speculation started after online pictures showed guests' cars, including two police vehicles, forming a line longer than 200 meters.

In another case, a sub-district leader in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, was sacked after arranging for more than 80 officials to come to Xiamen in Fujian province - a famous sightseeing spot - to hold a meeting that produced no concrete results. Those participating in the visit have also been asked to split the cost of the trip.

Since it was elected at a Party congress in November, the new leadership has launched a high-profile campaign to stamp out bureaucracy, formalism and lavish spending of public funds.

The bureaucracy and formalism-fighting guidelines, which include eight basic points, were introduced by a meeting of the top-ruling political bureau of the CPC Central Committee in December, asking officials to reduce pomp, ceremony and bureaucratic visits and meetings.

The guideline, which was initially introduced to restrict the top ruling political bureau, has been followed by many administrative, social and military organs as well.

Upon the closing of the annual session of the National People's Congress on Sunday, President Xi Jinping again stressed the Party will "continue to war against all the negative and corruptive situations" and maintain the political character of Party members.

Wu Jiang, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Tuesday's announcement was the first showing officials being punished for leading lavish lifestyles, such as bureaucratic visits and banquets, after the guideline was issued last year.

He said the punishment will serve as a lesson.

"Officials being punished this time were mostly at county level or lower. It was more like a warning to those in higher posts, telling senior officials to stay clean," he said.