China Communist Party bans gluttony, sex and golf

The ruling party adopted ‘a moral ethical code that members must abide by’ to achieve clean governance

Beijing: China’s Communist Party has banned its members from “extravagant eating and drinking”, engaging in “improper sexual relationships with others” and playing golf.

The ruling party's Political Bureau adopted new rules on clean governance and discipline earlier this month “a moral ethical code that members must abide by”. Party members were already barred from “keeping paramours and conducting adultery" but the new rule on sexual activity was stricter.

Playing golf and excessive eating and drinking were explicitly listed as violations of discipline for the first time. The regulations — which apply to everyone in the 88- million-strong Communist Party — also forbid forming cliques within the party and nepotism.

President Xi Jinping has launched an austerity drive and a sweeping crackdown on corruption, with thousands of officials falling from power. But critics of the campaign liken it to a political purge targeting Xi’s opponents.

Spending on luxury goods and in high-end restaurants has plummeted amid the crackdown, with government officials intimidated by high-profile corruption prosecutions. The document did not detail punishments for violating the new rules, but the party maintains its own feared internal disciplinary system.

Cracking down on golf
The authorities had ordered a nationwide moratorium on new golf courses in 2004, but development continued as revenue-minded local officials went their own way, even offering tax breaks for operators of new courses in places such as Hainan province. The number of courses in China has grown from fewer than 200 at the time of the ban to more than 600 this year.

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