China's premier cements ban on new buildings in cost-saving drive
SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for a complete halt to construction of new government buildings, training centres and hotels, throwing his weight behind a standing order that the authorities have had difficulty enforcing in recent months.
Li's call came during a meeting of China's State Council, or cabinet, and was part of broad efforts to curtail government spending, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.
In July, the government ordered a five-year suspension of the construction of new official buildings. Results have been patchy, however, and in December the central government warned that the ban was not being enforced effectively.
In the face of public anger over graft and extravagance by some officials, China's new leadership over the past year has sought to curtail everything from bribery and gift-giving to lavish banquets and wasteful government expenditure.