China official sacked for extravagant wedding: Media

BEIJING (AFP) - A low-ranking official in Beijing was sacked for hosting a lavish wedding banquet, Chinese state media said, becoming the latest target of a high-profile official crackdown on corruption and waste.

The costly celebration came as China's new leaders have vowed to tackle widespread official graft, which President Xi Jinping has warned could undermine the ruling Communist Party.

Ma Linxiang, a deputy village chief in a suburb of the capital, saw his son married off at the China National Convention Centre feted by famous performers, the official news agency Xinhua reported Tuesday.

It quoted Ma as saying he spent 200,000 yuan (S$40,800) to treat friends and neighbours to two days of banquets, with the rest of the costs paid by the bride's family.

But Xinhua added, citing local anti-corruption authorities: "The extravagant wedding has caused negative social effects and has violated the government's rule opposing extravagance and waste." The Beijing News said the wedding may have cost 1.6 million yuan altogether - calling that a "conservative estimate".

Ma remains under investigation although there is currently no evidence that he embezzled public funds, Xinhua said.

The much-publicised anti-corruption campaign by China's new leaders has netted a raft of low-ranking officials and a handful of senior figures, but no systematic reforms have yet been introduced.

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