Business World

Sunday 21 January 2018

China bans work on 'glitzy' new buildings in war on corruption

Ben Blanchard

China has ordered a five-year suspension of the construction of new official buildings, state media has reported.

It's the latest move by President Xi Jinping to crack down on extravagance and pervasive corruption.

Yesterday's decision was "made in accordance with the country's frugality campaign", official news agency Xinhua said.

Some structures, built in violation of regulations, had tainted the image of the Communist Party and stirred vehement public disapproval, the agency said.

"The directive called on all party and government bodies to be frugal and ensure that government spending goes toward developing the economy and boosting people's wellbeing," it said.

The ban also covered "glitzy structures" built as training centres, hotels or government motels, it said.

Numerous scandals in recent years have centred on extravagant expenditure on new government buildings by officials, often in poverty-struck inland regions.

Some local governments have embezzled poverty-alleviation and disaster-relief funds to build offices and other facilities for themselves.

President Xi, who took office in March, has made the fight against graft a key objective of his administration.

Corruption is so bad it could hurt the party's grip on power, the president has warned, although so far, few high-level officials have been caught in his dragnet

Similar orders in the past to rein in construction of over-the-top government buildings have had little apparent effect. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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