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The Chinese military will strengthen the management of its art troupes and curb extravagance at official galas, the People's Liberation Army's chief political organ has announced.
Show organizers from military units must deeply limit gala expenses and excessive performances, the PLA's General Political Department said in a regulation issued on Monday, urging organizers to rigorously supervise budgets for such shows.
Large-scale galas should not be staged during field training or military drills, it said.
Extravagance and unnecessary performances will be subject to disciplinary action.
The regulation also seeks to restrict the pursuit of personal gain by a handful of performers with the PLA's art troupes.
Tighter controls will be applied to art troupe members' participation in TV talent shows, the document said, noting performers are forbidden to take part in shows that will "taint the image of the military and servicemen", including those that are privately funded or held in karaoke pubs and bars.
Also prohibited are signing contracts with local performing and brokerage companies, starting private businesses and sensational promotion.
Those who take part in overseas performances or take leave for personal purposes without approval, or participate in making advertisements will be seriously punished, the regulation says.
The department requests that playwrights and composers in the PLA spend at least one month in grassroots units of the armed forces so they can understand the real lives of soldiers and officers and what is needed for their artworks.
Art troupes that perform song and dance routines should stage at least 100 shows for military units a year and for those who perform drama or opera, at least 60 shows are required.
Failure to meet the assigned target will disqualify the troupe and its leaders from awards and promotions.
In addition, senior members of art troupes may not use the rank of "general", a practice that has commonly occurred when they were introduced on public occasions.
They are also urged to "purify" their circle of acquaintances.
"We are drafting detailed guidelines on the implementation of the regulation," said Li Zhiqiang, an official with the Song and Dance Co under the General Political Department, which is the biggest performing unit in the military. "I am very proud that our troupe has a good record of regulating and managing its members."
He said the troupe has long enforced a strict performer management policy and never allows them to take part in talent shows.
"None of the members has violated the requirements mentioned in the regulation. In addition, we don't hold extravagant galas because what we seek is to present the beauty of art to the audience, not flashy formality."
Zhang Fan, a publicity worker with Hunan TV, one of the country's most-watched satellite channels, said he has never heard of members from the PLA's art troupes signing up for talent shows made by the broadcaster.
Lu Fei, publicity director with Canxing Productions, said even if a performer from the military applied to join a talent show, he or she would have difficulty in advancing through rounds of competitions because most organizers request players sign a commercial agreement with brokerage companies if they enter quarterfinals or higher contests, but the PLA forbids service members from doing so.
Chen Jie and Han Bingbin contributed to this story.