Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Golf club memberships in China

It was a big deal when Beijing's first golf course opened in the 1980s. Can it and all the others survive without members from the Communist Party?

China golf: Communist Party bans club membership
The Chinese Communist Party has banned all 88 million of its members from joining golf clubs, in its latest update of party discipline rules…

The new rule on golf states that members are banned from "obtaining, holding or using membership cards for gyms, clubs, golf clubs, or various other types of consumer cards, or entering private clubs".

 
If caught, members could either receive a warning or be removed from the party, depending on the severity of the violation…

The new regulations (in Chinese) did not explain why the joining of golf clubs is banned, but such clubs are often seen by the Chinese public as places where officials have cut shady deals.

In September, local media reported that at least 60 employees in state-owned companies were punished for spending public funds on playing golf.

Earlier this month, Lin Chunsong, a vice-mayor in the south-eastern Fujian province, was sacked for belonging to a golf club and playing golf while he should have been at work…

Another new rule states that party members cannot "violate official provisions on hospitality management and engage in over-the-top entertaining, or take advantage of opportunities for extravagant eating and drinking"…

President Xi Jinping has led a major anti-corruption campaign since taking office three years ago.

He has previously warned of unrest if corruption and perceived privilege within the Communist Party are not tackled.

Update 31 October from The Economist: Bunkers, banquets and bribes: Why banning golf won’t curb corruption

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