(Adds comment from anti-graft commission)
SHANGHAI, March 19 China's officials may need to
tighten their belts after authorities ordered official canteens
to serve "smaller portions" in a crackdown on over-indulgence,
the Xinhua state news agency reported.
The government has been on a drive against official
corruption and excess, which has seen gift-giving, banquets and
the fiery liquor baijiu come under the spotlight. The aim is to
calm public anger over graft and extravagance by some officials.
"Authorities are not allowed to organise banquets or guzzle
under the name of convening meetings and training," Xinhua said
late on Tuesday, citing a government circular.
Official canteens and cafeteria were asked to provide
smaller portions of "simple but healthy" food and put up "save
the food" slogans in prominent places, Xinhua said. Special
supervisors will ensure officials do not waste food and they
will criticize those who do.
China has been facing tight food supplies for a long time
but food waste was rampant due to "ostentatious lifestyles and
lack of supervision", Xinhua said, citing the circular.
President Xi Jinping urged officials to "sweat" corruption
out of the system on Tuesday.
Separately, the ruling Communist Party's anti-corruption
watchdog said on Wednesday it had set up a department to prevent
its graft busters from becoming corrupt.
The department will "prevent 'vermin' from appearing in our
ranks, and clean out 'black sheep' promptly", Chen Wenqing, a
deputy party chief of the Central Commission for Discipline
Inspection, said in an interview on the commission's website.
The commission carried out internal restructuring to beef up
efficiency in the anti-corruption campaign, a top priority for
Xi's leadership to restore public faith in party rule.
"The soil for corruption still exists, and the anti-graft
situation remains severe and complicated," Chen said.
"The people pay great attention to the fight against
The campaign against government excess took major bites out
of spending on official meetings, travel and vehicles in 2013,
the Communist Party's chief disciplinary body said last week.
The anti-luxury crackdown has been a concern for businesses
that supply premium liquor, expensive watches and luxury cars,
as well as for high-end hotel chains.
(Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Additional reporting by Li Hui and
Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Robert Birsel)