Authorities specify no-nos for official meetings

Twenty-one resorts and tourist attractions throughout the country have been ruled out of bounds for official meetings, as the government clamps down on profligate spending.

All Party organs, the National People's Congress and its affiliates, government organisations and judicial bodies, as well as other State-run departments, have been warned by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China's top anti-graft authority, about organising meetings in tourist hot spots.

During the May Day holiday, the commission's website featured pictures of zones where official meetings are not allowed, along with a written reminder.

The sites include the Badaling section of the Great Wall outside Beijing, the former imperial summer residence of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in Chengde, Hebei province, and Wutai Mountain in Xinzhou, Shanxi province.

The post reinforced a regulation issued by the CPC Central Committee and State Council in September prohibiting all meetings in those places.

Under the regulation, officials should hold meetings in places within their jurisdictions. Meetings that must be held in other jurisdictions are to be approved by the Party committee or other government oversight body.

Party and government entities are asked to have meetings in their office buildings or at hotels designated for official events, the regulation said.

It underscored that the organisations are strictly prohibited from arranging tours and visits that are not relevant to meetings, and participants are required to attend the meetings according to the schedules.

Organizers must apply to a higher level for approval if they believe their meetings must be held in any of the 21 places, which might include events related to tourism, religion, forestry, seismology, meteorology or environmental protection, it said.

Officials are forbidden from using the pretext of a meeting to organise irrelevant tours, and they are required to tighten their financial management. No ticket fares or other expenditures at tourist sites are allowed.

The regulation also prohibits bookkeeping that shifts irregular expenditures to tourist management offices or companies.

A similar regulation was issued in 1998 by the same two departments, and 12 tourist places were listed as no-meetings zones. But it was brushed aside over the years, oversight officials said.