No bouquets, banquets, liquor for China's new legislators

Projecting a new image for itself in the backdrop of its sagging popularity, ruling Communist Party of China has banned flowers, banquets and alcohol at next month's annual session of the National People's Congress.

The 2,987 newly-elected members of the NPC will not be received with flowers nor will there be any customary banquets with alcohol during the fortnight-long session beginning from the first week of March, state-run CCTV reported.

The NPC is often referred to as rubber stamp Parliament for its routine endorsement of CPC decisions.

The measures were extension of austerity policy announced by the CPC new leader Xi Jinping who earlier banned high-ranking military officers from holding luxury banquets with alcohol.

The military receptions should be free of welcome banners, red carpets, floral arrangements, formation of soldiers, performances and souvenirs, according to 10

regulations drawn up by the Central Military Commission headed by Xi who succeeded Hu Jintao as party leader.

The military also has been asked not to waste food and recycle it.

The new measures were seen as an image building exercise by Xi who would be taking over as President during the NPC session.

This year, NPC session along with advisory body the National People's Political Consultative Conference, (NPPCC) are regarded as being special, as the new leadership takes over marking the end of the previous regime headed by Hu

Jintao during the past 10 years.

A host of new faces including Hollywood film star Jackie Chin were nominated to CPPCC.

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