Lavish ‘Training Centers’ Provide a Loophole in China’s Luxury Crackdown

on September 18 2014 | in Trends | by | with No Comments

Futai Vista Estates, training centers, Chinese government, official banquets, government officials, China

It is hard to suppress the desire for the lavish and luxury lifestyle.

Faced with the government’s anti-corruption crackdown, which includes outlawing lavish government banquets and luxury gift giving, Chinese government officials are visiting “training centers” to experience the luxury treatment.

Set in some of China’s most scenic areas such as Yellow Mountain in Anhui, Guilin in Guangxi, and Xiamen in Fujian, these “training centers” were built to provide employee training sessions for local governments and state-owned businesses, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Instead of a quaint, isolated destination where employees can train without distraction, these training centers feature the kinds of accommodations one would find at The Four Seasons.

The Futai Vista Estate near Yellow Mountain, which is owned by the China Welfare Lottery Distribution and Management Center, features seven themed restaurants with chefs trained in France and five-star hotel accommodations. Dinners at the restaurants can cost as much as 1,000 yuan and the facility’s lounge is stocked with expensive bottles of wine.

Futai Vista Estate and other training centers skirt the government’s austerity measures by writing the invoices in such a way that the officials can be reimbursed by their companies. Another training facility doesn’t charge for business dinners as long as an official signs his name on the bill.

One insider who was quoted by Xinhua said, “Only officials from wealthy government departments can come here because ordinary government offices couldn’t afford the bill.”

Several government departments have attempted to squelch the lavish spending at these training centers, including the State Auditing Administration and local governments in Beijing and Tianjin. And it’s not as if the national government isn’t aware of the spending, having rolled out regulations against such spending in 2003, 2007, and 2013.

image credit: futai vista manor

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