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Saturday, 24 October 2015

Golf banned by China’s Communist Party

Golf banned by China’s Communist Party

Chinese President Xi Jinping with Queen Elizabeth II during the state banquet at Buckingham Palace
Chinese President Xi Jinping during his state visit to the United Kingdom
Picture: PA

Members of China’s Communist Party banned from golf and excessive eating, while “improper” sexual relations also targeted under new rules

Golf and gluttony have been banned forChina’s 88 million Communist Party members, as Beijing steps up a high-profile war on corruption.
President Xi Jinping has launched a wide-ranging crackdown on graft which has seenscores of officials being investigated and jailed since he took power in 2012.
Observers say the anti-corruption drive lacks transparency and has been used to cement Mr Xi’s grip on power by removing potential opponents.
A golfer  on the oldest golf course in Beijing with local female caddiesA golfer on the oldest golf course in Beijing with local female caddies  Lionel Derimais / Alamy Stock PhotoBut it remains popular among ordinary Chinese who are angered by high-living officials in a country which has sharp divisions of wealth.
“The new discipline regulation explicitly lists extravagant eating and drinking and playing golf as violations, which were not included previously,” Xinhua state news agency said.

“Improper sexual relationship with others” would also lead to being sacked from a party position, said the People’s Daily newspaper, which is the official mouthpiece of the party.
Other rules include forbidding members making “articles, speeches or announcements to support bourgeois liberalisation”, it added, in a list of regulations filling almost two full pages of Thursday’s paper.
The rules were adopted on October 12. It was unclear why they were only made public on Thursday.
They call for China’s 87.79 million Communist Party members to "champion simplicity and guard against extravagance", and were an update on existing rules released in 2010, Xinhua said.
The new clause against "improper sexual relationship with others” is a stricter revision of an existing regulation against “keeping paramours and conducting adultery”, the news agency added.
Chinese President Xi Jinping prepared to address Britain's Parliament and dine with Queen Elizabeth II Tuesday as he began a state visit that is intended to cement close economic ties between the two countries — but risks being overshadowed by concerns over Beijing's growing economic clout in Britain.Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan arrive for a four-day state visit at Heathrow Airport   Toby Melville/Getty Images
Allegations about improper sexual relations have been used against senior officials in a number of recent high-profile graft cases, including those against Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang.
The eating habits of officials have also come under scrutiny from the media and the public in China.
Mr Xi has launched an austerity drive which includes a campaign for simple meals with the catchphrase “four dishes and one soup”.
Golf is popular among officials, but the Communist Party has previously attempted to distance its members from the sport,banning officials in the southern province of Guangdong from playing during working hours late last year.
China has produced some top teenage golf stars in recent years.
China has also extended its global reach with the sport, with Beijing-based Reignwood Group buying the historic Wentworth club in Surrey last year.
Reports say the Chinese owners are asking new members to pay a £125,000 fee, while existing members are required to pay £100,000.
The move has shocked existing members, including Sir Michael Parkinson, who reportedly described it as a “cull”.
The current fee at Wentworth is a more modest £8,000 a year plus a £15,000 joining fee.