Beijing municipal government has ordered the closure of all private clubs and high-end entertainment venues in the city's public parks and stipulated that park space cannot be rented for businesses unrelated to park functions.
The capital has already closed some of these private clubs. Government officials who are found to have frequented such clubs will be punished severely, according to a briefing held by the municipal disciplinary watchdog Wednesday.
In recent years, some restaurants in Beijing have transformed into high-end private clubs and have catered to some officials' pursuit of luxury and privacy.
Some of these clubs are hidden in ancient structures and parks, which has triggered public anger, Zhao Yuqi, an official from Beijing Municipal Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CPC), said at the briefing.
The commission requires all officials in Beijing to sign an agreement, promising not to enter or join the clubs, and receive supervision from the Party and the public, China News Service reported.
Among 24 high-end restaurants and private clubs in Beijing parks and cultural relic sites, two restaurants in Beihai Park have been closed for rectification since last week, a worker from the park told the Global Times, adding that the restaurants are lowering their prices to serve the general public.
Improper signs saying that "Tourists are forbidden from entry" near the clubs in Zizhuyuan Park have been removed, reported xinhuanet.com.
The campaign was launched after the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) issued regulations in December last year, which forbid officials to frequent high-end clubs.
The campaign means that some officials will lose the chance to shield their luxurious lifestyles and the park will regain its main purpose of being a public space, Fu Siming, a professor with the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, told the Global Times.
"Officials should be restrained not only in their working hours but also in their off-work hours," Fu said.
The CCDI also reiterated during a working conference concluded on Wednesday that it will strengthen supervision and punishment on officials' visits to private clubs, China Central Television reported.