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China orders military top brass to cut banquets

BEIJING -- China has ordered senior military officers to abstain from taking part in lavish banquets and ostentatious ceremonies and to reduce overseas visits as part of a new austerity drive by new Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, state media reported Saturday.

Ten regulations issued by the Central Military Commission prohibit liquor, luxury banquets, welcome banners, red carpets, floral bouquets, guards of honour and special performances at receptions for high-ranking officers.

They also require military officials to cut the number and length of inspection tours, overseas visits, meetings and reports, the government's Xinhua news agency said.

Speakers at meetings should "avoid empty talk," while the use of military vehicles equipped with sirens should be "rigorously controlled during official visits in order to prevent public disturbances," the agency quoted the regulations as saying.

It said the Central Military Commission introduced the regulations to "echo the new central [party] leadership's call to improve work styles."

Xi has urged party officials to reduce extravagance and bureaucracy and cultivate a more frugal, hard-working image after a string of scandals involving corruption, abuse of power and neglect of duty.

During a recent tour of southern China, his first major public event since succeeding Hu Jintao as party leader last month, Xi was shown carrying his plate in a self-service cafeteria at a military base.

On Thursday, the Beijing municipal government issued a regulation banning banquets, welcome banners and traffic controls for officials on working visits to the city, who must make do with "buffet-style meals" instead.

Distributed by MCT Information Services
 

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