China tees off against golf, gluttony in anti-graft drive
BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's ruling Communist Party has listed golf and gluttony as violations for the first time as it tightens its rules to stop officials from engaging in corrupt practices, while also turning an even sterner eye on sexual impropriety.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has been driving a sweeping crackdown on deep-rooted graft since taking over the party's leadership in late 2012. Since then dozens of senior officials have been investigated or jailed.
Tales of corruption and officials' high living, including extravagant banquets and expensive rounds on golf courses, have stirred widespread public anger because bureaucrats are meant to live on modest sums and lead morally exemplary lives.
The new rules update existing regulations and are designed to codify more clearly what constitutes a violation of discipline, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Wednesday. They apply to all 88 million party members for the first time, and also include a new ethical code.
"Party members must separate public and private interests, put the public's interest first, and work selflessly," the Xinhua report said. Party members must also "champion simplicity and guard against extravagance".
"The new discipline regulation explicitly lists extravagant eating and drinking and playing golf as violations, which were not included previously," it said.
Explaining the new rules and underscoring golf's negative image, the party's corruption watchdog said on Thursday that golf was a game enjoyed by a former police chief who engaged in "massive" bribery. A vice mayor in a southeastern Chinese city was sacked this month for belonging to a golf club and playing the game when he should have been working.
IN THE ROUGH Continued...