Liquor ban a bother

HONG KONG - Liquor makers in China want a city regulation that bars public servants and Communist Party officials from the Chinese version of a three-martini lunch revoked, a newspaper reported yesterday.

HONG KONG - Liquor makers in China want a city regulation that bars public servants and Communist Party officials from the Chinese version of a three-martini lunch revoked, a newspaper reported yesterday.

The regulation, launched in January in Xinyang, is illegal, say several producers of baijiu, China's answer to vodka that is ubiquitous at banquets where toasts are downed by the shot.

"They are preparing to ask the People's Congress and the government's legal office to react, requesting that the rule be revised or revoked," the Southern Metropolis Daily said.

Liquor, beer and, increasingly, wine are common at China's business luncheons where hosts treat guests to lavish feasts that can last hours.

Sales at some liquor companies dropped by a third after the regulation . - Reuters

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