24 Jul 2013

China puts five-year ban on new govt building

5:59 am on 24 July 2013

China has banned national and local authorities from constructing new government buildings for five years in a bid to stop officials giving themselves lavish offices.

The move comes as part of a campaign by President Xi Jinping to show that the ruling Communist Party is cracking down on corruption and waste.

The directive also forbids luxury makeovers and expansions done under the guise of repair work, Xinhua newspaper said.

Luxurious new government buildings, sometimes in impoverished areas, have been a source of public outrage, the BBC reports.

Among the buildings that have attracted widespread disapproval in recent years is the western-style government office building in the city of Fuyang in Anhui province, in eastern China.

Construction of the building referred to as the 'White House' by residents reportedly cost 30 million yuan.

A state-owned drug company also caused outrage after photographs emerged apparently showing a building decorated to mimic France's Versailles palace, complete with gold-tinted walls and chandeliers.