'Banquet ban' for China military

The BBC's Charles Scalon: "There's an understanding in China - power and money go very closely together"

Elaborate state-funded banquets have been banned for China's top military officials, state media has reported.

The move comes after a diktat from central government earlier this month that aimed to curb extravagance and tackle corruption.

Xinhua news agency says receptions for high-ranking officers will no longer feature luxury banquets or alcohol.

The diktat, passed on 4 December, has also now sparked similar rules for civilian officials in Beijing.

The Communist Party's Central Committee, which includes civilian and military personnel, dictated eight ways that officials needed to change their working practices.

In line with the diktat, the military has now ruled out welcome banners, red carpets, floral arrangements, and souvenirs.

Officials will also no longer be allowed to stay in luxury hotels during inspection tours and vehicles will not be allowed to make excessive use of sirens.

"Military Commission officials are also required to discipline their spouses, children and subordinates and make sure they do not take bribes," the Xinhua report said.

In a separate report, Xinhua said the Beijing Municipality had become the first local authority to introduce the rules for its civilian staff.

Beijing officials on business will now have simple buffets, rather than banquets.

China's new leader Xi Jinping has repeatedly warned of unrest if corruption and perceived privilege within the Communist Party are not tackled.

The country's political leadership has been rocked by a scandal involving Bo Xilai, the former Chongqing party leader once seen as a candidate for top office.

His wife has been jailed for murdering a British businessman and he awaits trial on charges of corruption and abuse of power.

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