Guizhou bans alcohol at official events

By Qu Qiuyan Source:Global Times Published: 2017/8/22 21:43:39

Southwest China's Guizhou Province has vowed to outlaw alcohol drinking at all government events and official receptions for the provincial civil servants, which an expert said is aimed at regulating officials' behavior and enforcing the Party's eight-point rules on austerity.

Civil servants in Guizhou, a province famous for its baijiu industry, are banned from drinking alcohol or alcoholic beverages offered by any person or institution during working hours or lunch time during all official activities starting from September 1, which was announced at a press conference in Guiyang on Monday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Zhuang Deshui, a deputy director of the Research Center for Government Integrity-Building at Peking University, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the ban is the most stringent in the area, which shows Guizhou's determination to regulate officials' behavior and enforce the eight-point rules on austerity.

The ban applies to all civil servants in the Party, government and procuratorate organizations and those in civil associations and public institutions, according to the report, which said that State-run enterprises in the province are also covered.

Significant events involving foreign affairs or attracting investment are exempted, but alcohol purchase for such events should be strictly controlled based on actual needs. Besides, the purchase should be approved by higher levels and meanwhile put on record by local discipline inspection departments, according to the ban.

The discipline inspection departments will strengthen supervision on alcohol consumption during official activities, and civil servants violating the ban will be severely punished and relevant leaders will be held accountable, the Xinhua report said, citing Zhang Ping, deputy head of Guizhou's provincial commission for discipline inspection. 

"Everybody knows that Guizhou is known for the Moutai liquor, so the province should especially strengthen its supervision on officials' alcohol consumption," said Zhuang, adding that the local sales of Moutai might be affected.

Back in 2007, a People's Daily report revealed that a poverty-stricken county in Guizhou had consumed almost a truck full of baijiu in one year during official activities and receptions.

Hu Xingdou, a professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology, told the Global Times that consuming expensive baijiu used to be a fashion among some civil servants, which has left a bad reputation and brought a negative social influence.

"The ban will help curb government expenses, increase officials' working efficiency and save dining time," said Hu.

Many other provinces, including Northeast China's Heilongjiang and Jilin, East China's Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui, Central China's Hunan and Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, have already implemented similar alcohol bans among civil servants.

Hunan Province banned any kind of alcohol beverage - purchased with public funds or personal money - at official receptions on workdays as well as during rest time including national holidays, the Beijing Times reported in September 2016, citing an official from the Hunan provincial discipline inspection commission.

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