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China Bans Construction of Government Buildings

Public anger over corruption is driving a new move toward frugality.

Tue August 06, 2013 - National Edition
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BEIJING (AP) China’s leaders have banned the construction of government buildings for five years as another step in a frugality drive that aims to calm public anger at corruption.

The general offices of the Communist Party’s central committee and China’s Cabinet jointly issued the directive July 23, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. No directive was immediately available online.

Across China, grand government buildings with oversized offices and fancy lighting have mushroomed in many cities. They are often among the most impressive buildings in their own towns, drawing disapproval from the public.

President Xi Jinping has spearheaded a campaign to cut through pomp, formality and waste among senior officials that have alienated many ordinary citizens.

This year, high-end restaurants have reported a downturn in business as government departments and state-owned companies canceled banquets.

Xinhua reported that the directive orders an “across-the-board halt’’ to construction of official buildings, and “glitzy” structures built as training centers, hotels or government motels. Some government agencies have built such buildings in seaside resorts and other scenic spots as a perk for their officials and employees who can stay for free or at deeply discounted prices. They sometimes open to the public as profit-making ventures.

Xinhua said the directive noted that some departments and localities have built government office compounds in violation of regulations, which has tainted the image of the Communist Party and the government and stirred vehement public disapproval.

It added that the directive calls on party and government bodies to be frugal and ensure that government spending goes toward developing the economy and boosting living standards.




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