BEIJING – Alcohol producers in central China are shaken up over a rule banning boozy lunches for public officials.
The Henan Alcohol Association has hired a lawyer to convince the provincial legislature to revise or end the ban enacted in January 2007 in the city of Xinyang, the official Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday.
Other cities in Henan province soon followed suit, barring public officials from drinking alcohol during lunch on work days.
In China, a good deal of business is conducted outside of the office during long lunches or dinners. The meals are sometimes followed by visits to karaoke clubs, saunas or massage parlors.
Drinking is a private affair, and having alcohol should be permitted as long as it does not affect the official's work, lawyer Kang Yinzhong was quoted as saying by Xinhua. He was collecting the opinions of alcohol producers and would submit them to the legislature.
More than 100 officials in Xinyang have been reprimanded for flouting the ban, Xinhua said.