Oct 23rd, 2015
88 million people in China banned from golf!
Communist party cracks down on excess
Words: Tim Southwell Photography: Getty Images
The Chinese Communist Party has banned all 88 million of its members from joining golf clubs, in its latest update of party discipline rules. Extravagant eating and drinking, and abuse of power, are also formally banned, said Xinhua news agency.
As part of a big ant-corruption drive that started in 2012, the party has in the past warned its officials to refrain from extravagant dinners and purchasing moon cakes (a thin, tender pastry) using public funds.
The new rule on golf states that members are banned from "obtaining, holding or using membership cards for gyms, clubs, golf clubs, or various other types of consumer cards, or entering private clubs". Any fun stuff, basically.
If caught, members could either receive a warning or be kicked out of the party. The perception, rightly or wrongly, is that golf clubs are where the corrupt go to conduct shady deals, hence the ban.
It was reported recently that at least 60 employees in state-owned companies were punished for spending public funds on playing golf. Earlier this month, Lin Chunsong, a vice-mayor in the south-eastern Fujian province, was sacked for belonging to a golf club and playing golf while he should have been at work.
Another new rule states that party members cannot "violate official provisions on hospitality management and engage in over-the-top entertaining, or take advantage of opportunities for extravagant eating and drinking". Well, that's Peter Allisss out for a start.
President Xi Jinping has led a major anti-corruption campaign since taking office three years ago. He has previously warned of unrest if corruption and perceived privilege within the Communist Party are not tackled.
One owner of a golf equipment store in Shanghai, who was only identified by his surname, Huang, told Reuters that his store's sales had dropped at least 30% last year. Golf in China was "about the social interaction", he said. "If a company boss can't play with a government official, there's little point in him spending his money."
Sounds like it's time for a co-ordinated mass Chinese GolfBunk.
Good luck to our counterparts at GolfPunk magazine in China and let's hope this insane cull on golf gets reversed post haste.
Related to this article:
Golf In China
China announced a ban on building new golf courses in 2004
However, the ban has not always been enforced, and state media say the number of golf courses in China increased from 200 in 2004 to 600 in 2015
Many local authorities have encouraged the development of golf courses to draw in tourists
Environmentalists say the golf courses have damaged ecosystems
In March, China shut down 66 illegally built courses