Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping gave the People`s Liberation Army`s (PLA) musicians a rare public scolding for "fooling the masses" after a series of reports exposed their privileged lifestyle.
The PLA Daily, armed forces` mouthpiece, announced new measures by the PLA`s General Political Department to curtail the privileges of the military`s art troupes, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday.
The orders by Xi, who also heads the military came after son of a top military singer, who enjoys the rank of a Major General, was involved in a gang rape in Beijing and after a series of scandals exposed the privileged lifestyle of some of the military`s art troupes` most prominent members.
Famous Tibetan-Chinese singer Han Hong, deputy head of the dance troupe of the PLA Air Force, had to apologise after getting caught three times for violating traffic regulations in Beijing while driving a black Ferrari and a Land Rover.
Xi scolded PLA musicians for "fooling the masses", the report said.
Significantly, Xi`s wife Peng Liyuan, a reputed singer of Chinese music is the Dean of the PLA Art Academy and also enjoys rank of a Senior General.
State-run Xinhua news agency reported that military performers are asked not to perform in privately-funded performances and casinos, and not to take part in local TV talent shows.
They are also urged not to perform outside the Chinese mainland without approval, and not to set up companies or studios for personal financial purposes, it quoted a PLA circular.
It also directed the country`s armed forces to curb extravagance in official galas.
Approved by Xi, the chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the circular urged the whole army and the armed police forces to take the lead in terms of implementing austerity measures already announced earlier banning luxury dinners.
The notice required government agencies to bring luxurious and extravagant galas to a halt and encourage frugal event planning. The circular urged the armed forces to seriously restrict gala expenses and excessive gala arrangements.
PLA will also tighten the approval of galas, as well as individuals participating in public welfare performances, it said.