One third of officials “network” at bars

by 25 Jun 2009

Around one-third of government officials in China believe that visiting places such as health spas and karaoke bars is part of their “networking duty”, according to a poll conducted by People’s Daily.

The poll, which took in 105 officials in the Jiangsu, Henan, Sichuan and Shandong provinces, found that 49 per cent of officials felt that vis iting entertainment venues was essential for “socialising” while 21 per cent thought it was necessary for “physical and mental relaxation”.

While the Communist Party of China’s Central Commission for Disci pline Inspection has repeatedly prohibited officials spending public money at karaoke bars, clubs and dancing venues, more than half of the officials polled said it was possible to enforce this while 28 per cent said such activities were “hard to control”.

Gao Xinmin, a professor at the Party School of the Central Commit tee of the CPC, said the government needed to state regulations more clearly. “The regulations do not clearly state if officials can visit entertain ment venues at their own expense or not. Nor is there a clear definition of ‘entertainment venues’,” Xinmin said.

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