Are Xi Jinping’s Austerity Measures Working?

Andrew Jacobs of The New York Times reports that China’s free-spending government elites – and the businesses that cater to them – are feeling the squeeze under new president Xi Jinping’s austerity...

Assuring Chinese Finish Their Live Lobster Sashimi

As the government and state media push a ‘Clean Plate Campaign’ and high-end restaurants suffer through a drought of official banquet reservations, Adam Minter examines cultural attitudes behind food waste in China....

A Little Less Decoration, A Little More Action, Please

China’s new Party leadership has vowed to reject “extravagance, formalism and bureaucracy” in government—or, as The Financial Times put it, to let a hundred flowers wilt. Xinhua recounted the long list of...

China Legislator Seeks to Criminalize Banquets

Zhao Linzhong, National People’s Congress delegate, is proposing an interesting piece of legislation. From AFP: “Public spending on eating and drinking is a waste of social assets,” Zhao Linzhong, a delegate to...

China’s Latest Crackdown: The Liquid Lunch

As Xinhua reported (and CDT translated) last August, officials in Xinyang, Henan Province have been touting the economic and social benefits the city has accrued after banning the consumption of alcohol at official banquets. The...

Days of Liquid Lunch Are Numbered

In China, lunch meetings are often a time to conduct business over food and drinks. A year after Henan officials were banned from lunchtime libations, the province’s alcohol industry is fighting back, claiming that as a...

New Drinking Songs

Political jingles are not new in China. Even in Mao’s time, powerless people at the bottom of society used jingles to express themselves (often in the form of veiled criticism, sarcasm or anger, in reaction to the...



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