22 February 2019
Perhaps green fees will come down at Shenzhen's massive Mission Hills Golf Club. Photo:
Perhaps green fees will come down at Shenzhen's massive Mission Hills Golf Club. Photo:

Golf and gluttony no-nos for Communist Party members

The party’s over for officials who have been enjoying the high life in China.

No more golf, no more gluttony.

Sexual hanky-panky? Forget it.

The ruling Communist Party has listed golf and gluttony as violations for the first time as it tightens its rules to curb corrupt practices by its members, Reuters reported.

The new rules also widen the scope of punishable sexual impropriety.

President Xi Jinping has been driving a sweeping crackdown on deep-rooted graft since taking over the party’s leadership in late 2012. Dozens of senior officials have been investigated or jailed.

Tales of graft and officials’ high living, including extravagant banquets and expensive rounds on the golf course, have stirred widespread public anger.

The new rules update existing regulations and are designed to better codify what constitutes a violation of discipline, the official Xinhua news agency reported late Wednesday.

They are applicable to all 88 million party members for the first time and also include a new ethical code.

“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”.

“The new discipline regulation explicitly lists extravagant eating and drinking and playing golf as violations, which were not included previously,” it said.

The party’s corruption watchdog said Thursday that golf was a game enjoyed by a former police chief who engaged in “massive” bribery.

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.

Perhaps party members should take up healthier sports like soccer, Xi’s personal passion.

Beyond golf, the new rules also mention “improper sexual relations”, broadening the scope of prohibitions that before only referred to “keeping paramours and conducting adultery”.

The charge of adultery is frequently leveled at high-ranking graft suspects as a way of showing they are morally degenerate and deserve punishment.

Forming “cliques” that seek to split the party is also banned under the new regulations, along with hiding personal issues that should be reported and abusing positions of power to seek gain for family members and staff.

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