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.