China's Xi demands less show for top leaders
BEIJING (REUTERS) - Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping took aim on Tuesday at the wordy meetings and over-the-top welcoming ceremonies which are the bread-and-butter of the lives of senior leaders, demanding less show and fewer hangers-on for foreign trips.
Top officials rarely go anywhere without giving stultifying speeches and getting fawning welcomes from local people, complete with heavily made-up children presenting flowers and pensioners moved to tears or song.
But president-in-waiting Mr Xi signalled he was having none of it.
Visits around the country by top leaders should no longer be met by red carpets, welcome banners or banquets, said a statement carried by state media after a meeting of the 25-member Politburo, the party's second-highest decision-making body, which reports to the party's elite core, the seven-man Standing Committee.