BEIJING - Chinese radio and television stations are to ban advertisements for expensive gifts such as watches, rare stamps and gold coins, the Xinhua state news agency said on Wednesday, as part of a push by the government to crack down on extravagance and waste.

Such advertisements had "publicized incorrect values and helped create a bad social ethos", the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) said in a release, Xinhua said.

The ban comes after repeated calls from Xi Jinping, China's president-in-waiting, for a renewed fight against graft.

Xi said in a speech on Jan. 22 that targeting the "flies", or lowly people involved in corruption, was just as important as going after the "tigers", or top officials.

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