In China, Binge Drinking Is All in a Day's Work

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jul 20, 2009 6:20 AM CDT
Factory employees check liquor containers storing baijiu, the Chinese liquor, at a factory of Jiannanchun Group in Mianzhu, southwest China's Sichuan province.   (AP Photo/Color China Photo)
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(Newser) – Getting wasted is all part of the job for many Chinese bureaucrats, and it's becoming such a serious problem that it has led to illness and death, reports Reuters. Government officials are required to offer large amounts of alcohol at public functions and drink frequent toasts to honor guests. "We would lose face if we could not get our guests drunk. Refusing to drink is considered disrespectful," said one official.

"Neither my guests nor I want to get drunk but we have to play under the unspoken rule," he added. "We don't know how to do business otherwise."