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China bans public funded gifts during holidays

Updated: 2013-11-21 21:13
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - Chinese officials are not to exchange gifts such as fireworks and firecrackers bought with public funds, during the New Year and Spring Festival holidays.

"Party and government offices, civil associations, state-owned enterprises and financial institutions will be prohibited from exchanging gifts bought with public money, such as cigarettes and alcohol, during the upcoming holidays," read a Thursday statement by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China.

The commission asked discipline and inspection organs at all levels to strengthen supervision and expose violations in a timely manner during the holidays, adding that flowers and food financed by the public purse will also be targets in the campaign.

Chinese people see holidays the proper time to nurture bonds with friends, as well as cozying up to government officials, and items listed above are considered preferred gifts to bribe officials or business partners.

This is not the first time that the CCDI has issued such regulations ahead of holidays. Before the Mid-Autumn Festival in September and seven days of National Day Holidays in early October, the CCDI issued a similar circular urging officials to refrain from luxurious banquets and gift giving.

The campaign against extravagance started with an eight-point rule, introduced at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee at the end of last year, with the aim of fighting bureaucracy and formalism and rejecting extravagance among Party members.

China's Spring Festival holiday falls on January 31, 2014.

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