Peace upon Earth and goodwill to all men.

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  1. 'Forced drinking' widely unpopular
    (China Daily)
    Updated: 2007-02-12 06:55

    Half of the respondents to a recent survey said they did not like being forced to drink alcohol at banquets, a custom that is considered to be part of the country's "liquor culture".

    According to the results of the survey, conducted by China Central Television's (CCTV) Oriental Horizon program, half of the respondents said they disliked being forced to drink, 35 percent were neutral and 15 percent said it was a Chinese custom that should be preserved.

    "Forced drinking", spitting, blowing one's nose without using a handkerchief and smoking in public are among the top 10 worst habits, according to another survey carried out by the China Association for Science and Technology.

    Excessive drinking is not only unpopular, it can be deadly.

    According to official figures released by the Ministry of Public Security, nearly 90,000 people died in road accidents last year. Speeding, exhaustion and drunk driving were the top three killers.

    "If people were not urged to drink too much at dinner, we would have fewer road accidents," said Huang Shubo, an army officer in Beijing.

    However, drinking is widely considered an effective way to clinch business deals and secure favors because people are more pliant after consuming alcohol.

    It is common in China to treat guests or inspectors to big dinners to make them "feel at home", but sometimes the hospitality backfires.

    In August 2006, Zhang Hongtao died from alcohol poisoning while auditing a power grid and transformation project in north China's Hebei Province.

    People have to drink even if they do not want to, Huang said, adding that the friendship and influence of the host is at stake at such gatherings.

    "I hate drinking too much, but I don't like to embarrass my friends and superiors when they make a toast," Huang said.

    Ma Zhenbiao from the Beijing City Bar Association struck a similar note.

    "There's a limit to showing one's respect with liquor," he said.

    "If people are aware of the dangers of drinking, such as driving under the influence, and still urge people to drink, they will be legally responsible for accidents that occur," said Ma Zhenbiao.

    Last February, a man in East China's Zhejiang Province died after his colleagues forced him to drink. They were later brought to court and asked to offer compensation to the victim's family.

    "Pressing people to drink means ruining their health under the guise of friendship," said Ke Qinglin, a professor at the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Hospital. He added excessive drinking caused serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver and heart disease.

    Yu Xingqian, director of the China poetry and wine culture association, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Culture, said some people could become irrational and even commit crimes if they drank too much.

    "We should promote an elegant drinking culture, in which liquor is savored not swallowed, and drunkenness is rejected," said Yu, adding that "vulgar practices such as urging or compelling people to drink should be disparaged".

    China is one of the world's largest makers of alcoholic drinks. In 2005, the country produced over 38 million tons of alcoholic drinks. It is estimated that there are over 500 million drinkers in China.

    China Daily-Xinhua
  2. IF the facts are as reported, it's hard to see this as anything other than a travesty of justice. Hardly heart warming :thumbdown:
  3. Nehustan

    Nehustan On ROPs

    Personally I tend to recall a hadith 'Otlob al Alm walaaw Feseen' which means 'Seek you knowledge, even if it is in China'.

    China is at a very interesting period of time, the party's dominance is receeding and they will be left with a number of options. One of these options is to allow the westernisation of China, beyond the mere movement to a 'capitalist' economic system. I can't see this happening myself, the old guard would see it as capitulation and given the serious social problems apparent in western culture they may want a system that is as all encompassing as the Maoist doctrine they seem bound to abandon. Despite the cited report China has had good relations with Islam since Muslims first arrived via trade routes in that geographical region. I can't recall which emperor it was, but I recall he sponsored the building of the first mosque for the new arrivals with the statement 'My scholars have inspected Islam and found that is has nothing against the teachings of Confuscious'. The bleed into China of central Asian politics is an unfortunate result of the cold war. Personally I think Muhammad was trying to tell the Muslims that China would play a large part in the development of the new world, using the quoted hadith to draw an association between knowledge and China. I imagine that Muslims in China would be better equipped being patient than expanding to the orient a clash of civilisations that really has its origin in the occident.

    If the Chinese were to begin to accept a form of Islam in keeping with their own traditions, as say that initially presented to the emperor the critical mass the 'Islamicists' require would effectively be achieved. Instead they act as proxy forces for their own foes, spilling over from the cold war era and as cited the geopolitical central Asian region.
  4. wrong, won't do it again.
  5. Nehustan

    Nehustan On ROPs

    Funny that, my reading of China (especially the 'party'...are you friends party officials?) is that it is actively reaching out to people both from Niger (and the whole continent) and the Levant and associated regions. I have a feeling that your intuition on this one will be proved wrong, despite the feelings of your Chinese friends. I would wager it would be a little bit like asking the opinion of a tabloid reader heartily digging into his pork pie and pint about his view of current affairs...
  6. Yes it does seem like that doesn't it.