A Chinese cadre makes a ham-fisted attempt to promote pork to Xi Jinping

President also offers his two cents on the pricing of a Guizhou liquor brand

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 October, 2017, 5:47pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 October, 2017, 10:14am

A Communist Party delegate from southwestern China tried to hog the limelight with a ham-fisted attempt to promote a pork product to Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the party’s national congress in Beijing.

In a meeting of delegates from the impoverished province of Guizhou late last week, Yanbo village party secretary Yu Liufen said her community had increased per capita income 20-fold to 16,000 yuan (US$2,400) in the past 15 years by improved production of ham and baijiu, a fiery Chinese spirit.

Baijiu, China’s national drink, eyes global market

Yu said the village’s ham was among the three best-known regional varieties in the country, along with Jinhua and Xuanwei.

But the purported surge in popularity of Yanbo’s product seemed to have passed the president by.

“Then you need to increase the ham’s popularity,” Xi told the meeting. “I’ve only heard of the other two.”

Xi also had some advice on pricing of the baijiu produced at a factory Yu set up about a decade ago in the village around 430km from Maotai, home of the country’s most famous variety of the spirit.

Yu said that at 99 yuan per bottle, Yanbo’s output was “suitable for the people”.

Beer or baijiu? China’s drinkers become more quality conscious

But Xi replied: “That’s not cheap. High price does not necessarily mean good quality.”

After Yu vowed to take the president’s instructions on board, Xi said the matter should be decided by the market.

“You cannot sell it at 30 [yuan] just because I said 99 [yuan] was not cheap,” he said.