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China austerity campaign knocks official spending in 2013

Published on Mar 16, 2014 1:23 PM

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - A campaign against Chinese government excess took major bites out of spending on official meetings, travel and vehicles in 2013, the Communist Party's chief disciplinary body said.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said in a statement money spent on meetings, official overseas trips and vehicle purchases fell by about 53 percent, 39 percent and 10 percent respectively from 2012.

The Chinese leadership under President Xi Jinping has been publicising efforts to crack down on wasteful government spending and corruption to shore up its mandate to rule, which has been shaken by suspicion that officials waste taxpayers'money on extravagances even as economic growth slows.

Anti-corruption chief Wang Qishan on Saturday called for efforts to innovate disciplinary inspection and make it "the Sword of Damocles" that will hang over officials' heads, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

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