BEIJING -- The Chinese government pledged on Sunday a moratorium on new government offices and guesthouses along with a reduction in government payrolls and official cars.
The newly installed premier, Li Keqiang, made the promise in his debut speech at the closing news conference of the National People's Congress in Beijing.
"The central government will lead by example and lower levels will follow suit," Li told assembled reporters inside the imposing Great Hall of the People on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
Uncontrolled spending on lavish buildings has been a source of public outrage, especially in the provinces where officials have tried to immortalize themselves with absurdly disproportionate edifices.
One of the poorest counties in eastern Anhui province built a $45 million government building eight times larger than the White House, a remote city in southern Jiangxi province what it said was the largest mechanical clock tower in the world.