Party calls for end to high-cost funerals for officials
Members of the Communist Party of China and government officials have to have simple funerals without any “feudal” or “superstitious” elements, the government said on Thursday, as the Party tries to curb extravagance.
President Xi Jinping ordered the crackdown late last year when he became Party chief, seeking to assuage public anger at waste and extravagance.
Having already taken aim at everything from banquets to bribes, the Party has now turned its attention to funerals.
The government said that there had been a return to “bad habits” for some officials, with “feudal and superstitious activities making a resurgence”, including a fall in the number of cremations, the building of ornate mausoleums and holding of extravagant funerals.
This “damages the image of the Party and the government, and harms social morals”, the government said in a statement on its main website www.gov. cn.
Cremations have been encouraged by the Party as a way to save much needed agricultural land in the world’s most populous country.
In traditional Chinese culture, the dead are supposed to be accompanied by the living in the first few days after death, leading to mourners setting up tents where people can gather in front of the body and a shrine.
Funerals can be lavish affairs, complete with hundreds of mourners and elaborate rituals, customs still followed by some overseas Chinese .
The government said such practices had to stop in China.
“Party members and officials have to proactively promote funeral reform, and guide family members, friends and the masses, to prevent bad funeral habits in a timely way and stop ... feudal and superstitious activities.”