‘No mercy’: Now, Xi targets officials’ business meals in anti-graft fight

China’s sweeping anti-corruption campaign has another target in its crosshairs: officials’ meals.
Authorities will strictly discipline officials who run afoul of rules for dining and drinking, according to a statement from China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection released on Wednesday.
The behavior being targeted includes having subordinates or company executives pay for meals as well as claiming expenses for non-work meals.
The stepped-up scrutiny is part of a deepening anti-graft crackdown that spans sectors from finance to health. President Xi Jinping, who has made weeding out corruption a hallmark of his leadership since taking office more than a decade ago, this week promised “no mercy” in his fight and pledged to clean up “hidden risks.”
It’s not the first time officials’ work habits have come under examination. Xi has previously gone as far as ordering them to limit the types of meals they order, though last year officials were granted permission to book nicer hotels for some events, easing up on earlier austerity pledges.
The dining issue has been spotlighted in a recent documentary series on Chinese state television featuring corrupt cadres. In a show that aired on Monday, eight now-former officials from Qinghai province defied a ban on alcohol at a provincial Communist Party school and asked a government canteen to cook up extra dishes.
Their celebration soon got out of hand: One of the people was too drunk to attend a morning meeting the next day, while another was later found dead, according to the show.
China’s watchdog also vowed to step up anti-graft work in the tobacco industry and when it comes to bidding on government projects. It reiterated it will ramp up its work in sectors including finance, state-owned enterprises, energy and medicine.

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