Archive for the ‘liquid lunch’ Category

China’s Latest Crackdown: The Liquid Lunch

March 8, 2008
XINYANG, China — Li Bin, a barrel-chested retiree on special assignment for this city’s Communist Party boss, strode down an empty hallway of the Xinyang Middle Court in search of bureaucrats. He rattled locked doorknobs and barged into offices without knocking. A court officer retreated in red-faced terror.The booze squad had arrived.

“Blow,” ordered one of Mr. Li’s young subordinates a few minutes later as he pressed an alcohol monitor to the nervous lips of a Communist Party functionary.

The target of Mr. Li’s mid-afternoon sting last week was not just tipsy cadres but a ritual that many Communist Party officials have long considered a part of their job description: the hours long, alcohol-soaked midday banquet (usually paid for with public money).

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