September has come around and the Chinese are stocking up on mooncakes, traditional pastries given as gifts during the Mid-Autumn festival. But this year could have a different feeling as President Xi Jinping ramps up his campaign against corruption.
The government on Tuesday announced a ban forbidding Chinese officials from purchasing mooncakes using public funds.
Officials cannot use public money to send mooncakes as presents or to arrange luxurious banquets during the festival period.
“The Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day are approaching, [and] we must resolutely put an end to using public funds,” the ruling Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on its website.
Anyone flouting the bans will be severely punished, the government statement said.
The traditional giving of mooncakes, filled with salted duck egg yolk and sweet lotus paste to symbolize the moon, is no exception to Xi’s austerity drive.
Xi has made cutting back on extravagance and waste a priority for his administration to clean up the party’s image after a series of high-level corruption scandals.
By: Maesie Bertumen