Chinese Communist Party Bans Golf Club Membership, Extramarital Affairs

Xi Jinping
China's President Xi Jinping is taken on a tour during his visit to Inmarsat in London, Britain October 22. Xi has laid the foundations of what could be a power grab. Anthony Devlin/Reuters

China’s ruling Communist Party has banned its 88 million members from playing golf, having sex outside of marriage and partaking in “extravagant eating and drinking,” according to the country’s state media .

The new rules announced earlier this month by the Communist Party, part of an ongoing anti-corruption drive by President Xi Jinping, are intended to be a “moral ethical code that members must abide by,” according to China’s Xinhua News Agency . Members are barred from "obtaining, holding or using membership cards for gyms, clubs, golf clubs, or various other types of consumer cards, or entering private clubs.” Chinese authorities banned the construction of new golf courses in 2004, but they have continued to be built in the decade since, the AFP reports .

The bans on playing golf and ostentatious displays of eating and drinking are included as violations for the first time, says Xinhua. While party members were already prohibited from “keeping paramours and conducting adultery,” the new rule against “having improper sexual relationships with others” is stricter.

Additional rules for the party’s 88 million members include bans on forming cliques and engaging in nepotism, Al Jazeera reports . Xi has tried to drive down corruption within the party since assuming office in 2012, but a number of high-profile cases have drawn international attention over the past few years. In June, the former domestic security chief, Zhou Yongkang, was sentenced to life in prison on corruption charges , including taking bribes worth 128 million yuan ($21 million), The Washington Post reports .

While the new regulations don’t explicitly outline the punishments for rule infraction, Xinhua reports that party rule is considered stricter than and above the law. Many critics see the crackdown as a way for Xi to purge the party of unwanted rivals rather than cleaning up its image.

China is ranked 100th out of 175 countries in Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Index.