China tightens supervision over civil servant liquor bans

Local governments have recently been stepping up their supervision over liquor bans applied to civil servants. From banning any drinking during work hours to prohibiting alcohol at official receptions, China is increasingly cracking down on alcohol consumption among government employees. A total of 30 alcohol violations have so far been reported by disciplinary inspection departments across the country this year.

In 2005, eastern China’s Anhui province issued a regulation banning civil servants from consuming alcohol while discharging their official duties. Events involving foreign affairs or those intended to attract investment were exempted.

In September 2016, northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region implemented an alcohol ban for civil servants at official receptions. According to the ban, civil servants in the region are banned from drinking alcohol at all official events, including dinners, no matter what individual or institution offers the drink.

Civil servants face fines and can be even dismissed from their positions if they consume alcoholic beverages during work hours, according to relevant regulations.

Most civil servants support the regulations. A town party chief in Jilin province said he feels relieved by the ban, which not only saves a lot of time spent dining, but also protects him from alcohol-related harm.

However, violations still exist. Some civil servants choose to drink alcohol in private places such as rural inns, and some drink after work or buy liquor with their own money.

 

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