In China, Officials Sneak Their Booze in Water Bottles

In order to get around Xi Jinping's anti-corruption instructions
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2013 8:21 AM CDT
In China, Officials Sneak Their Booze in Water Bottles
In this Tuesday, March 5, 2013 photo, a selection of bottled waters stands on a kitchen counter in East Derry, NH.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Disguising your vodka as "water" in an old Evian bottle? Seems like the realm of the college-aged, but apparently such deception is also all the rage among Chinese government officials looking to dodge President Xi Jinping's crackdown on graft. Instead of toeing the line on frugality, the Communist Party's main newspaper says officials have simply been throwing their fancy parties in secret and, yes, hiding booze in water bottles.

"In some places the use of public money for eating and drinking has switched from high-end hotels to private venues and places of business," reports the People's Daily, according to Reuters. Such "low-key luxury" includes "saunas in farmhouses." As for the ever-so-sneaky imbibing, the paper says the pricey spirit maotai is often stashed in innocent-looking bottles of mineral water. Reuters notes that while Xi may be talking tough, pretty much no heads have rolled over corruption. (More China stories.)

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