According to Xinhua, the Beijing authorities just issued a new red-letter directive that mandates the shutdown of several thousand representative offices in Beijing in the next 6 months. Currently there are 52 Beijing offices representing provincial level governments, 520 representing municipal level governments and over 5,000 representing county level governments. The number of representative offices exceeds 10,000 if it includes those for various government organizations, and liaison offices of state-owned enterprises. The assets of these representative offices totaled 10 billion yuan in 2001.
The function as outlined by the new directive for the representative offices includes carrying out tasks assigned by the Communist Party committees from the sending location, and by the Communist Party Central Committee and the State. Notably, these offices should assist the Beijing municipal government in maintaining social stability in Beijing.
Source: Xinhua, January 24, 2010