China rules private clubs off-limits for party officials
BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's ruling Communist Party has banned officials from belonging to or visiting private clubs, saying they are often used as venues for illicit deals or sexual liaisons, in the latest move to stamp out pervasive corruption.
President Xi Jinping has pursued an aggressive drive against corruption since coming to power, vowing to pursue high-flying"tigers" as well as lowly "flies", warning that the problem is so serious it could threaten the party's power.
He has already ordered crackdowns on everything from banquets to funeral arrangements, and has now turned his attention to private clubs, which have proliferated in Chinese cities, ostensibly offering a quiet place for meetings or socialising.
In a statement issued late on Monday, the Central Commission for Discipline and Inspection, the party's anti-graft watchdog, said officials who go to these clubs would face severe penalties.