Chinese Officials Told ‘No More Lavish Parties for the Dead’

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | December 20, 2013 4:47 PM EST

China's campaign and crackdown to impose frugality and weed out corruption among its government officials have extended even to their dead.

The state Xinhua news agency reported China's national government led by President Xi Jinping ordered all government officials to stop holding lavish funerals which they use to show off their wealth and connections.

A wreath, placed by members of the 37th Cadet Class honor guard of the Irish Defence Forces, who performed a drill at U.S. President John F. Kennedy's funeral at Arlington National Cemetery in 1963, stands in front of Kennedy's grave, November 25, 2013. The cadets were the first foreign soldiers to perform a funeral drill for a U.S. President. Eleven of the original 26 members took part in today's ceremony. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Instead, to encourage simplicity and prove to the people the government's sincerity, officials should set an example with "simple and civilized funerals."

Collecting "condolence money" from attendees have likewise been banned. Families of the deceased are likewise barred from holding or staging "superstitious practices."

Farewell ceremonies should be "modest and strictly controlled in scale."

The rules, issued jointly by China's State Council and the Communist Party of China's Central Committee, were triggered after some government officials were observed to be using funerals as an avenue to display wealth and connections.

This "damages the image of the party and the government, and harms social morals," the government said in a statement on its main website (www.gov.cn).

Officials were likewise urged to choose "cremation or other environmentally-friendly form of disposal" and to donate their organs after death. Their gravestones must also not exceed "set standards."

According to Xinhua, the cost of landplots in cemeteries in Beijing and Shanghai costs way above the cost of housing in those cities, reaching tens of thousands of US dollars per half-metre plot.

This rule is the latest of China's attempts against extravagance. Earlier, the government banned the serving of shark fin on official functions, drinking during weekday lunches or holding extravagant weddings for their children.

China started its frugal campaign in December 2012.

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