China corruption drive goes after "guzzling" officials

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China's officials may need to tighten their belts after authorities ordered official canteens to serve "smaller portions" in a crackdown on over-indulgence, the Xinhua state news agency reported.

Authorities in China have been on a drive against official corruption and excess, which has seen gift-giving, banquets and the fiery liquor baijiu come under the spotlight.

The aim is to calm public anger over graft and extravagance by some officials.

"Authorities are not allowed to organise banquets or guzzle under the name of convening meetings and training," Xinhua said late on Tuesday, citing a government circular.

President Xi Jinping, who has made the campaign against graft one of his priorities, urged officials to "sweat" corruption out of the system on Tuesday.

Official canteens and cafeteria were asked to provide smaller portions of "simple but healthy" food and put up "save the food" slogans in prominent places, Xinhua said.

Special supervisors will ensure officials do not waste food and they will criticise those who do.

China has been facing tight food supplies for a long time but food waste was rampant due to "ostentatious lifestyles and lack of supervision", Xinhua said, citing the circular.

The campaign against government excess took major bites out of spending on official meetings, travel and vehicles in 2013, the Communist Party's chief disciplinary body said last week.

The anti-luxury crackdown has been a concern for businesses that supply premium liquor, expensive watches and luxury cars, as well as for high-end hotel chains.