China axing shark fin from official events
China's latest move puts restrictions on a delicacy that conservationists blame for reducing the global shark population.
China will ban officials from consuming shark fin at government expense within three years, part of an effort to reduce corruption.
The ban, reported by the state-run CNTV on its website, comes after Premier Wen Jiabao in March called for an end to using public funds to purchase cigarettes and "high-end" alcohol.
The latest move puts restrictions on a delicacy that conservationists blame for reducing the global shark population.
Chinese officials spent $64 billion on vehicle-related expenditures, $31.5 billion on meals, and $7.2 billion on going abroad in 2004, China Central Television said. The money spent on meals was enough to build another Three Gorges Dam, it said.
A widening wealth gap and the ouster of Politburo member Bo Xilai in an alleged graft and slaying scandal have fueled public outrage over official malfeasance. Wen in March said the government risks its existence unless it addresses corruption.
Shark populations around the world are in rapid decline, and the World Wildlife Fund estimates more than 73 million sharks are killed each year, primarily for their fins.