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China Anti-Corruption’s Latest Bans – Golfing & Extramarital Affairs



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Oct 23 2015
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Ever since President Xi Jinping took the throne as the most powerful man in China in 2013, he’s been cracking down on corruption as if there’s no tomorrow. His anti-corruption crackdown is so massive that it’s being globally – from United States to Australia – with Beijing seeking extradition of those who have fled with ill-gotten gains.

 

Whether he is doing this for the greater good of China, or simply to weaken his political enemies while strengthening his base, is immaterial, at least to ordinary Chinese. Compared to former leaders, it’s hard to deny the fact that President Xi is a man of action, and he gains legions of supporters in the process.

China Beijing commemorates 70th anniversary of Japan World War II defeat - President Xi Jinping

China Anti Corruption - Big Tiger and Fly

Now, Xi Jinping administration has a new list of bans to further discourage corruption. The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee has published new rules on clean governance and sanctions. And for the first time, these rules are applicable to all its 88-million CPC members.

 

Prior to a new 8-article regulation, there were already 53 articles on behaviour that is forbidden released in 2010. One of the latest articles says party members must separate public and private interests, put the public’s interest first, and work selflessly. Another (*yawn*) required members to champion simplicity and guard against extravagance.

China Food Scandal - Maxim's Mooncake

In the past, the CPC has warned its officials to refrain from extravagant dinners and even purchasing moon cakes using public funds. Yes, as funny as it may sound, the Communist Party actually believed corrupt officials were using public money to splurge on moon cakes (consumed during Mid-Autumn Festival) and other entertainments during the festival.

 

Now, a new rule says that CPC members are banned from “obtaining, holding or using membership cards for gyms, clubs, golf clubs, or various other types of consumer cards, or entering private clubs”. If caught, members could either receive a warning or be removed from the party, depending on the severity of the violation.

China Anti Corruption - Golfing is Banned

Although Beijing did not explain why the joining of golf clubs is banned, it’s a public knowledge that such clubs are often used by officials to cut shady deals. In September alone, local media reported that at least 60 employees in state-owned companies were punished for spending public funds on playing golf.

 

Earlier this month, vice-mayor Lin Chunsong of the south-eastern Fujian province was sacked for playing golf while he should have been at work. Apparently, Mr. Lin had played 163 rounds of golf over the past two years, 12 of them during work hours, at a club that charged him suspiciously lower fees than its other customers.

China Anti Corruption - Golf Course

Although China had announced a ban on building new golf courses as far back as 2004, the number of golf courses continues mushrooming in China – tripled from 200 in 2004 to 600 in 2015. However, only 10 of the new courses were government-approved. And Beijing has so far closed down 66 “illegal” courses since last year.

 

Interestingly, golfing in China is very popular for “social interaction”, without which a company boss would have little space to spend his money with a government official. Of course, the second most popular place to “entertain” officials was perhaps at fancy restaurants. Now, a new regulation says extravagant eating and drinking is strictly banned.

China Anti Corruption - extravagant eating and drinking

China Anti Corruption - Mistress Sex Extramarital Affair

If you can’t golf and dine, what else is left to bribe government officials? Well, sex of course. Previously, the Communist Party of China has banned adultery and mistresses. Now, the meaning of sexual pleasure has entered a new dimension – members are banned from “having improper sexual relations with other people who have bad repercussions”.

 

President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign which has targeted the flight of illicit capital from China has caused a serious problem on Macau casino business. Macau’s VIP gambling industry has been badly affected with many Chinese high rollers giving the former Portuguese territory a miss. Morgan Stanley expects revenue in Macau to fall 24% this yar to US$33 billion.

China Anti Corruption - Macau Chinese Casino High Rollers

Without gambling tables, golf courses, dining tables and sex pleasures, there’s little doubt that China will become one huge boring place for businessmen and government officials to conduct any “win-win” business deals. Still, with China being ranked 100th out of 175 countries in Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Index, there’re too many crooks for Beijing to catch and prosecute.

 

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