Sunday, 1 June 2014

Further Clamping Down on Official Privileges

Alas Chinese officials won't be able to dine like this anymore in private clubs
Back in late 2012 when Xi Jinping was chomping at the bit to become president of the most populous nation in the world, he vowed to crack down on "tigers" and "flies" in a bid to crackdown on corruption.

When I went to Shanghai in March 2013, a representative of a five-star hotel there complained to me how the banqueting business was severely affected by Xi's campaign. Originally the hotel had hoped a good part of its revenues would come from government officials dining there, but that changed overnight when Xi's crackdown began.

Everyone was hoping it was a temporary measure, but in the meantime, the hotel in Pudong began heavily promoting its services in being able to hold wedding banquets and 100-day old baby and children's birthday parties to have customers occupy tables.

However, Xi's campaign did not let up.

Meanwhile officials apparently took their lavish dining habits underground into private clubs and residences so they could still enjoy some of the good life.

But apparently the government has caught onto this trick and issued a circular earlier this week stating officials will face "severe punishment" for "entering members-only clubs as well as catering, entertainment, beauty and fitness venues that are closed to the general public but open only to a handful of people."

The circular added officials must promise not to accept and hold memberships in similar businesses.

Perhaps officials will join the laobaixing in their workouts
The notice said many clubs are illegally established and operated, infringe on public interests, and are hotbeds of corruption. It also added the illicit leasing of historical buildings or parks must end and a long-term supervision mechanism must be established.

This latest development in the crackdown on officials' lavish spending of public funds follows other measures, including banning flower arrangements in meeting rooms, expensive liquor, eating shark's fin and luxury gifts.

So now where are officials going to eat? Looks like they are going to have to be like everyone else and have their meals in the main dining area, or are private rooms in restaurants forbidden?

It also seems like officials won't be able to join gyms and work out. They'll now have to join the masses in using those outdoor contraptions in public parks to exercise...

Perhaps it's a good thing -- they'll have to mingle more with commoners and really empathize with them!


  1. it is about time. the government is for the people not by the people. the officials are to serve the people-civil servant.

    1. HI Anonymous -- Thanks for your comment. Yes we shall see how effective this latest measure is!