Appearance is everything.
China’s ruling Communist Party has just declared it can’t have officials handling the people’s business living fat and happy. Literally.
In an effort to clamp down on graft and to stop officials from engaging in corrupt practices, the CCP is taking a swing at golf and gluttony and classifying them as violations of corrupt practices.
Images of rich fat cats making unscrupulous deals on golf have been the driving force behind President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on deep-seated graft, such as extravagant banquets and expensive rounds on the golf course. The crackdown, which began in late 2012, has seen dozens of senior officials investigated or thrown in jail.
Golf’s negative image came about because it was a game enjoyed by a former police chief who engaged in “massive” bribery, the party’s corruption watchdog said on Thursday, according to Reuters. 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.
Bureaucrats are meant to live on modest sums and lead morally exemplary lives and the new rules are designed to better codify what constitutes a violation of discipline, the official Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday
“Party members must separate public and private interests, put the public’s interest first, and work selflessly,” the report said. Party members must also “champion simplicity and guard against extravagance,” reported Reuters.
“The new discipline regulation explicitly lists extravagant eating and drinking and playing golf as violations, which were not included previously,” said Xinhua
The game is often seen as providing an opportunity for officials to make shady deals and an extravagance for government employees who should be serving the people, said Reuters.