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China bans alcohol in military banquets to curb graft

BEIJING - China banned senior military officers from holding alcohol-fuelled banquets or from staying in luxury hotels when on work trips in the latest move by Communist Party chief Xi Jinping to fight corruption, state media reported on Saturday.
Receptions will also no longer feature welcome banners, red carpets, flowers, honor guards, performances or souvenirs, the powerful Central Military Commission, which Xi oversees, decreed, major newspapers reported.Speakers at meetings should avoid "empty talk," while the use of vehicles equipped with sirens will be "rigorously controlled during official visits in order to prevent public disturbances."
"Additionally, commission officials are required to discipline their spouses, children and subordinates and make sure they do not take bribes."
China intensified a crackdown on rampant corruption in the military in the late 1990s, banning the People's Liberation Army from engaging in business. But it has crept back in recent years due to a lack of transparency, checks and balances and moral decay.
Xi, who takes over as president from Hu Jintao at the annual meeting of parliament in March, warned shortly after becoming party boss that the country risked unrest if graft is not tackled.
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