A total of 15,799 Chinese officials were punished in July for violating frugality rules, the top anti-graft body said on Thursday.


What does the term "frugality rules" mean?

2 Answers 2


The frugality rules referred to in the article are also known as the Eight-point Regulation enacted in 2012. Here is an official summary of the key points. I've emphasized main topics in bold.

  1. Leaders must keep in close contact with the grassroots. They must understand the real situation facing society through in-depth inspections at grassroots. Greater attention should be focused on places where social problems are more acute, and inspection tours must be carried out more thoroughly. Inspection tours as a mere formality should be strictly prohibited. Leaders should work and listen to the public and officials at the grassroots, and people's practical problems must be tackled. There should be no welcome banner, no red carpet, no floral arrangement or grand receptions for officials' visits.

  2. Meetings and major events should be strictly regulated, and efficiency improved. Political Bureau members are not allowed to attend ribbon-cutting or cornerstone-laying ceremonies, or celebrations and seminars, unless they get approval from the CPC Central Committee. Official meetings should get shortened and be specific and to the point, with no empty and rigmarole talks.

  3. The issuing of official documents should be reduced.

  4. Officials' visits abroad should only be arranged when needed in terms of foreign affairs with fewer accompanying members, and on most of the occasions, there is no need for a reception by overseas Chinese people, institutions and students at the airport.

  5. There should be fewer traffic controls when leaders travel by cars to avoid unnecessary inconvenience to the public. There should be fewer traffic controls arranged for the leaders' security of their trips to avoid unnecessary inconvenience to the public

  6. The media must not report on stories about official events unless there is real news value. The regulations also ban worthless news reports on senior officials' work and activities and said such reports should depend on work needs, news value and social effects.

  7. Leaders should not publish any works by themselves or issue any congratulatory letters unless an arrangement with the central leadership has been made. Official documents without substantial contents and realistic importance should be withheld. Publications regarding senior officials' work and activities are also restricted.

  8. Leaders must practise thrift and strictly follow relevant regulations on accommodation and cars.

  • 5
    Can't help but notice that like almost every other Chinese law or regulation this one is also highly subject to interpretation. "The issuing of official documents should be reduced". LOL. Commented Aug 29, 2020 at 2:01
  • 1
    I think that may only be a summary, so it's possible that a more precise definition exists.
    – Brian Z
    Commented Aug 29, 2020 at 2:06
  • This sounds a lot like the regulations my place of work likes to put out - nice-sounding and presumably well-intended, but I can't help but notice at least one obvious loophole in all of these items :)
    – xLeitix
    Commented Aug 29, 2020 at 15:40
  • 6
    @Fizz Dictatorships work by instilling fear and I guess vague laws are a good way to do that. Commented Aug 29, 2020 at 15:47
  • 3
    @TheSimpliFire They're also a good way to legally allow for the double standards that many dictatorships are rife with. Commented Aug 29, 2020 at 17:56

A better translation would be sumptuary laws for public officials.

Sumptuary law, any law designed to restrict excessive personal expenditures in the interest of preventing extravagance and luxury. The term denotes regulations restricting extravagance in food, drink, dress, and household equipment, usually on religious or moral grounds.

  • This answer could be improved by providing a summary of the Chinese sumptuary laws which apply here.
    – Philipp
    Commented Aug 29, 2020 at 8:57

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