(Adds comment from anti-corruption chief)
SHANGHAI, March 15 A campaign against Chinese
government excess took major bites out of spending on official
meetings, travel and vehicles in 2013, the Communist Party's
chief disciplinary body said.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said
in a statement money spent on meetings, official overseas trips
and vehicle purchases fell by about 53 percent, 39 percent and
10 percent respectively from 2012.
The Chinese leadership under President Xi Jinping has been
publicising efforts to crack down on wasteful government
spending and corruption to shore up its mandate to rule, which
has been shaken by suspicion that officials waste taxpayers'
money on extravagances even as economic growth slows.
Anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan on Saturday called for
efforts to innovate disciplinary inspection and make it "the
Sword of Damocles" that will hang over officials' heads, the
official Xinhua news agency reported.
The commission is preparing to investigate numerous
government agencies this year, including the Ministry of Science
and Technology, Shanghai-based Fudan University, state-owned
China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO),
the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps and other
provincial governments, Xinhua said.
The crackdown has damaged the business of many high-end
restaurants and hotels, in particular in Beijing, and has also
caused concern that a decline in government fleet vehicle
purchases will reduce revenues at foreign luxury automobile
(Reporting by Pete Sweeney; Editing by Robert Birsel)