State Councilor warns China's local governments against trying to beat closure of liaison offices

09:11, April 02, 2010      

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Chinese State Councilor Ma Kai Thursday warned that local government liaison offices in Beijing that have been ordered to close would be banned from reopening under different names and from relocating to avoid closure.

In a teleconference on the supervision and management of liaison offices in Beijing, Ma said counties, local government departments, and development zones should be "determined" to remove all their liaison offices in Beijing.

China's State Council's General Office issued a circular on Jan. 19 ordering counties, local government departments, and development zones to close liaison offices in the capital within six months.

Liaison offices of provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions and special economic zones could retain their offices in Beijing, while established city-level liaison offices could be kept only after being approved by provincial governments, according to the circular.

The number of such offices, set up to lobby and make representations to central government and its ministries, is thought to exceed 5,000.

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