Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, July 14, 2014

Corruption, money laundering, and drinking problems

Another tradition attacked.

Guangxi Officials Told to Stay Sober (on the Job, at Least)
The rules read like something imposed on a fraternity under double-secret probation. But as People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of China’s Communist Party, explained on Friday, they are meant for officials in the southern region of Guangxi. Officials there now face a list of restrictions on consuming alcohol that are meant to prevent them from reaching embarrassing and even dangerous levels of intoxication.

According to the rules, Guangxi officials are barred from drinking on the job; playing drinking games or otherwise forcing people to drink in public places; being heavily drunk at any time; drinking in public while wearing an official uniform; drinking while carrying classified materials; and driving after drinking.

China has a well-established tradition of boozy banquets to mark all manner of business, and local officials often find themselves called upon to drink several times a week…

President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption and extravagance has targeted officials’ culture of drinking. There are some signs that the prohibitions are cutting into alcohol consumption…

Still, drunken officials remain a problem for the Communist Party. Wang Qikang, an executive with a state-owned tourism company, was fired and dismissed from the party this week after a cellphone video that showed him groping a woman on a Shanghai subway…

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