Chinese state media has reported that a top Communist Party official's vow to take disciplinary action against party members caught hiring female escorts or visiting "vulgar venues".
The warning comes following a spate of criminal and corruption cases in which party officials have been caught using prostitutes, maintaining mistresses or engaging in illicit sexual affairs, the Global Times reported.
"Party officials ought to stay away from vulgar venues and are not allowed to visit 'sanpei xiaojie' (female escorts) for entertainment," the paper quoted Li Yuanchao, a member of the party's powerful Politburo, as saying.
"The recent scandals involving corrupt officials tracked their disciplinary offences to sanpei xiaojie."
Li, who heads the party's organisation department, said members violating his instructions would risk demerits in their work appraisals, meaning it would be more difficult for them to get promoted, the paper said.
Graft probes that have led to the sacking or jailing of party leaders have routinely uncovered a range of illicit sexual activities, the paper said.
The paper cited the recent corruption case of Chen Liangyu, the jailed former top party leader of Shanghai, who was involved with a mistress.
It also cited the case of bathhouse worker Deng Yujiao, who earlier this year fatally stabbed a local official after he tried to molest her.
In an ongoing case, the former top judicial official of Chongqing, Wen Qiang, regularly sought out underage girls and entertainment starlets for sexual trysts, the Yangzi Evening News reported this week.
During interrogations, Wen confessed to raping some of the women, it added.