China official perks 'fall by $9bn'

A waitress stand next to a table of food prepared for a National Day reception at the Great Hall of the People on the eve of the Oct. 1 National Day in Beijing Image copyright AP
Image caption China's leaders have warned officials not to flaunt excesses that stoke public anger

China says government spending on overseas trips, lavish receptions and official cars has dropped by almost $9bn over the past year.

The announcement comes as President Xi Jinping's campaign to tackle decadent working practices in the ruling Communist Party draws to a close.

More than 150,000 "ghost jobs", where people are paid even if they do not turn up, were found in the clean-up.

Mr Xi has repeatedly said corruption threatens the party's existence.

The stated aim of the mass-line campaign, as it is known, is to strengthen the party's ties with the Chinese population.

The BBC's Martin Patience says official spending on government cars, receptions and trips was down almost a third compared with the year before.

But our correspondent says the president must know he needs to strike a balance.

Past leaders have warned that if you fight corruption too much then you will destroy the party - but if you fight it too little then you will destroy the country.

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