Xi Jinping's PLA booze ban gives troops a kick

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 January, 2013, 6:23pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 January, 2013, 10:47pm

Chinese troops are getting healthier, they’re cholesterol levels are dropping and (brace yourselves, Japan) accuracy on the artillery range is now supposedly sharper.

And all this is happening because they’re giving up the drink – at least according to a report in the People’s Daily newspaper on Sunday.

Since taking the reigns of the Central Military Commission in November, Xi Jinping has been tweaking the country’s military protocol and part of his new “ten provisions” for the CMC – which includes cutting out fancy receptions and big dinner banquets – is banning alcohol consumption.

According to the state newspaper, “prohibition” has managed to alter the troops’ lifestyles drastically. At a military base in Chengdu, medical examinations revealed a “decrease in cases of fatty livers, high-cholesterol and high blood pressure” compared to last year.

With no more drunks on the firing range, going sober has also apparently managed to improve combat effectiveness and open up spurts of great military innovation once held back by the evil tipple.

“In the past, it was always about entertainment and drinking, this delayed a lot of work being done. In less than a month, I have been able to make huge progress in the development of a new artillery chassis. All thanks to prohibition!” said Li Rui of the Jinan Military Region.

Chinese netizens did hesitate to express their support for their comrades on Sina Weibo. “I am glad to hear they have been so ‘busy’ defending the homeland in the past,” wrote one user on the microblogging service. A few others however, were more sceptical.

“How will they have the capability to recover the Diaoyu Islands without getting drunk?!” another said.

Ren Yufei, a political commissar at a PLA Air Force regiment supported the ban and told reporters that prohibition was “the only way can we develop a force able to perform the most dangerous and complex of combat missions”.

Meanwhile, stocks of Kweichow Moutai, the company behind China’s famous luxury spirit, have reportedly plunged 20 per cent since November, according to a Bloomberg report. The report also said Chinese officials account for about a third of the nation’s high-end liquor consumption.