Official gluttony

According to an academic quoted in the official Chinese English-language newspaper, The China Daily, Chinese officials spend an annual average of about five hundred BILLION yuan (or 73 billion US dollars) of public funds on banquets. ‘Officials are used to sealing deals and making decisions at dinner tables,’ said Professor Li Chengyan of Beijing University. (He was commenting on the news that an official in Hubei Province recently died of a heart attack after drinking excessively at an official dinner, and that another official, in Guangdong, fell into a coma after a separate alcoholic binge.)

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