China has banned the construction of government offices for the next five years, ratcheting up an austerity campaign that has already taken a toll on the economy.
The State Council, China's cabinet, and the Communist party late on Tuesday said the ban, which takes immediate effect, would also apply to the expansion of existing buildings.
"We must really use our limited funds and resources for the development of the economy and the improvement of people's lives," they said.
China's austerity campaign – unlike those in the west which have been triggered by budgetary shortfalls – is driven largely by the new leadership's determination to address what it sees as the slipping moral standards of the Communist party elite.
Xi Jinping's first move as party chief late last year was to bar lavish banquets, red-carpet receptions, wasteful travel and other trappings of corruption that have stained the public's perception of the government.
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Those measures have had a clear impact on the economy, leading to slower consumption growth in the first half of the year, and dealing a blow to luxury goods companies around the world.
Whether the latest ban has a similarly negative impact on the property market will depend on how it is interpreted by state-owned companies. Chinese corporate executives have felt pressure to comply with Mr Xi's earlier austerity policies even though government officials, not companies, were his targets.