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China cracks down on decadent golf

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What's a birdie loving comrade to do?


"... In a flurry of recent reports, state-run news outlets have depicted the sport as yet another temptation that has led Communist Party officials astray. A top official at the Commerce Ministry is under investigation on suspicion of allowing an unidentified company to pay his golf expenses...

And in the southern province of Guangdong, home to the world’s largest golf facility, the 12-course Mission Hills Golf Club , party officials have been forbidden to golf during work hours “to prevent unclean behavior and disciplinary or illegal conduct....

...“This is Xi Jinping ’s China, and it’s clear he’s intent on making his mark,” Mr. Washburn said. “Everyone’s a potential target in this ongoing crackdown on corruption, and golf is a particularly easy and obvious one.”

... The Legal Weekly, run by the Ministry of Justice, chimed in by publishing a list of 15 party officials who have been punished in the last decade for golf-related transgressions. It included Sun Guoqing, head of the Ministry of Transportation’s planning department, who was suspected of using public funds to pay for rounds, and Han Jiang, a district official in Shenzhen, who was convicted of receiving nearly $1 million in bribes, the largest single portion of which was in the form of a membership to the Mission Hills Golf Club. “Golf, because of its high cost and unique glamour, has been called the ‘aristocrats’ game,’ ” the newspaper said. “But an awkward truth is that because of ‘rotten’ golf, some officials have been punished or even jailed.”

An art dealer in Beijing, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss illicit activity, said that many insider deals were made over rounds of golf. “When we play golf, we invite officials, too,” he said. “This is not something ordinary people can afford.”...

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So are they cracking down on golf or government officials who accept bribes in the form of free golf? The article cited some older practices, but it seems as though the sport is growing of late.

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I read the NYT article last night when looking at scores ... my thought is eliminating golf does not eliminate corruption. People just find another avenue for corruption. Golf is merely a symbolic scape goat in these circumstances.

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I really chuckled at the "environmental" concern raised because of development.  If only they were as concerned about the fact that China burns more coal than the rest of the world combined.

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