China cracks down on extravagant government buildings

China Featured - July 24th, 2013
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Chinese president Xi Jinping stepped up his anti-corruption campaign with a ban on the construction of new government buildings.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, approved the directive in a bid to clean up the image of a government widely seen as corrupt and lavish.

The ban, which will be implemented over five years, forbids luxury makeovers and expansions as well as expensive structures built as training centers or hotels, the official Xinhua news agency said.

“Banning the building of new government buildings is important for building a clean government and also a requirement for boosting CPC-people ties and maintaining the image of the CPC and the government,” Xinhua quoted the directive as saying.

Ostentatious government buildings – including a local government office in poverty-stricken Anhui province which covers an area larger than the US Pentagon, and a government building in central Jiangxi province with a $45 million mechanical clock tower – have stoked outrage in recent years over officials’ exorbitant use of public money.

Reports have also emerged that some government agencies have built luxury offices in seaside resorts where officials can stay for free or at discounted prices.

Xi has vowed to crack down on corruption at all levels, saying it threatens the future of the communist party, according to AFP.