Banquets off the Menu for China Military

China's high-ranking military officers will no longer be treated to receptions featuring liquor and luxury banquets, state media reported Saturday, as the country's new leaders stress austerity to fight corruption.

The state-run China Daily newspaper, quoting a dispatch from the official Xinhua news agency, said the Central Military Commission announced the new regulations on Friday.

Similar rules were passed down earlier this month aimed at Communist Party officials, as China's new leadership tries to send a clear signal that it is serious about reigning in corruption.

The report said that "receptions for high-ranking officers will no longer feature liquor or luxury banquets", with "welcome banners, red carpets, floral arrangements, formations of soldiers, performances and souvenirs" also to be abandoned.

The Central Military Commission is chaired by new Communist Party chief Xi Jinping, who took over the party and the commission at a key party meeting last month.

"Commission officials are also required to discipline their spouses, children and subordinates and make sure they do not take bribes," the report said, adding that commission officials were banned from staying in civilian or luxury military hotels while on inspection tours.

Xi, who is slated to become China's president in March, has repeatedly pledged to fight graft amid rising social discontent over government corruption and political scandals that have engulfed the Communist Party.

China's political transition this year was tarnished by the case of disgraced politician Bo Xilai, whose wife was convicted of murdering a British businessman.

Bo is awaiting trial for corruption and abuse of power after allegedly using police in Chongqing city where he ruled to remove political opponents and dissidents, practices that are routine in China.

The scandal unveiled rampant graft and lawlessness at the pinnacle of Chinese political power.

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