More than 1,600 poorly-performing civil servants in an area of southwestern China have been “recalled” like cars to try to fix their behaviour and improve their work, according to a state media report. The government officials deemed at fault in Qianxinan prefecture in Guizhou province are pulled off their jobs for up to a week to undergo retraining, China Central Television reported. Thirty forms of misdemeanour have been listed by the local government, include gossiping, playing mahjong and watching films during work hours, the report said. The training can also include bouts of military drill, according to the report. Twenty-seven staff have been sacked after showing no improvement after their recall. One out of five civil servants in the prefecture have gone through the programme and many disagreed with its methods, the report said. The campaign in Guizhou comes amid a massive central government campaign against corruption and wasteful and extravagant official spending. The Communist Party has repeatedly said that its grip on power is threatened by public anger about graft and inefficiency among officials. Critics say the anti-corruption campaign fails to address the underlying causes of graft, the party’s monopoly on power and its control of the legislature, police, courts and the media.