China / Society

Moon cakes may conceal more than sweet fillings, warns anti-graft body

By Zhang Yi ( Updated: 2015-09-07 19:45

China's top anti-graft body has warned officials to avoid exorbitant gifts including moon cake gift boxes and asked media to investigate and report on any breach of regulations against corruption and extravagance ahead of Mid-Autumn Festival, which this year falls on Sept 27.

It is a long-standing tradition in China to send moon cakes and other gifts to family members and relatives during the festival, the 15th day of the eighth lunar month when the moon is full. The round, sweet pastries with various filings represent family reunion.

However, moon cake gift boxes have been used to disguise the offering of bribes with other items of value, sometimes cash, in them.

"The media needs to play its role supervising the implementation of austerity rules and are encouraged to report about high-end gifts or commercial promotions on electronic business platforms of these gifts and new cases of using public money on gifts," read a statement from the publicity department of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection on Sunday.

In addition, all media and websites are advised not to advertise extravagant gifts.

The media whistleblower system was set up to strengthen public supervision and stamp out four undesirable work styles, formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance, the commission said.

Media is also encouraged to report what they or the public consider corrupt practices, including the use of public funds for gifts, using public vehicles hosting banquets and trips.

Last year the commission disciplined 232,000 officials and received 2.72 million public reports, up from 1.95 million in 2013.

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