From my experiences, Chinese men to feel the need to prove how manly they are by how much baijiu they can drink. Personally, I think this whole aspect of Chinese (male) culture is a bit silly. I believe I got this kind of stuff out of my system in my late teens.
Image from redbubble.net
BEIJING — One Chinese official is dead and another in a coma in a pair of cases highlighting the risks of China's culture of drinking heavily to seal political or business deals, state media said on Monday.
Jin Guoqing, a district water resources chief in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, died last week of a heart attack after drinking excessively while entertaining official guests, Xinhua news agency said.
Also last week, Lu Yanpeng, a district chief in Zhanjiang city in southern Guangdong province, fell into a coma after drinking heavily during a dinner with a Communist Party official, it said.
They were just the latest casualties in a booze-soaked culture in which officials and businessmen are expected to ply guests with strong Chinese liquor at elaborate banquets amid cries of "gan bei," or "drain the glass."
Xinhua quoted an official in eastern Shandong province, who asked to remain anonymous, saying officials would "lose face" if they do not get guests drunk.
"Neither my guests nor I want to get drunk but we have to play under the unspoken rule, which has been around for so long. We don't know how to do business otherwise," the official said.
The ironic thing is that many Chinese men simply don't hold their liquor that well because of their body chemistry. So it's easy to see why and how this kind of binge drinking can be problematic.
One other aspect I wonder about in these kinds of deaths is China's shanzhai culture. Just like every other kind of product in China, there is fake baijiu everywhere.
Little cigarette and alcohol shops notoriously sell fake bottles of the baijiu. The owner of the shop next door to my work got arrested last weekend because of this. I'm sure that the fake bottles of the nice baijiu brands make their way into nicer restaurants as well.
One can only imagine what is actually in the bottles of fake alcohol. If you think real baijiu is foul, imagine how awful fake stuff has to be.