Guffaws at Maotai-PLA link-up

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 January, 2011, 12:00am

The seven military regions covering the entire mainland were reduced to a public laughing stock yesterday with the announcement of collaborative ties with Maotai, the renowned Guizhou-based liquor company.

The Guizhou Daily published what read like an advertisement for Maotai claiming that representatives from all the seven military regions (who all happened to be female soldiers) had formed the ties with the liquor corporation at the start of the 12th five-year plan.

Then the report began to boast that Maotai was used to celebrate every major victory of the People's Liberation Army. So, 'as an inevitable result of the history and tradition, the seven military regions formed collaborative ties with Kweichow Moutai Co, the liquor's manufacturer, to strengthen mutual affection and draw useful lessons for each other's development'.

Maotai, the national liquor, has been considered by some mainlanders as a symbol of official corruption and extravagance.

For many years, only party members had access to it, and even today it is a luxury, with bottles selling for as much as 1,500 yuan (HK$1,769) apiece.

The uncensored piece soon became the laugh of the day on the internet. The report on was followed by at least 2,800 comments as of last night, mostly satirical and scornful. A poster from Xian said: 'Aren't they the largest consumers [of Maotai]? If you say yes, you shouldn't be surprised.'

One from Huainan , Anhui , said: 'No need for grenades now. The PLA will have enough liquor bottles to throw at the enemy when they fight wars.'

Another from Jinan , Shandong : 'Can't the PLA have just a little bit more self-esteem as not to make itself a propaganda tool for business?'

One improvised rhyme read: 'Fragrant liquor, perfumed women - let them be the targets of our general on the frontline. Through the night, how can he get tired of this kind of war? And how can he remember the people and the nation?'