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China's Politburo bans red carpets, dull speeches

(London Telegraph) Party leaders will no longer be greeted wherever they go with cheering crowds, banners, red carpets and elaborate flower displays, said a statement on Chinese state media after a meeting of the new 25-man Politburo.

The updated rules also ban dull, long speeches and fawning write-ups in the state newspapers, as the party tries to reshape its image.

In recent years, even the lowliest Communist party officials have enjoyed a fin-de-si├Ęcle lifestyle, being chauffeured around in luxury cars and greeted by crowds of well-marshalled schoolchildren.