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    PostPosted: August 29th, 2018, 6:40 pm 

    Joined: December 23rd, 2014, 5:47 pm
    Posts: 809
    Mahjong playing
    CHINESE people have been clacking mahjong tiles for more than a century , with some accounts even naming its inventor as the ancient sage Confucius.

    But according to a commentary published on Tuesday in the People’s Daily, Communist Party officials have taken their hobby too far.

    “The phenomenon of Party officials going to rural retreats to have fun, play mahjong and poker ... must resolutely stop,” the commentary said, referring to the widespread practice of betting on games “to add a little stimulation.”

    The article also called for an equally “resolute” end to government workers “spending public money to visit historical sites in the name of ‘study,’ and then simply going to any old fun place.”

    Due to the mounting war on corruption, some officials have held secret sauna parties and hidden alcohol in plastic water bottles as they seek to get around the crackdown on extravagance , the People’s Daily said last year.

    “Constant reports of saunas held at farmhouses” were evidence of a growing culture of “low-key extravagance” that is damaging the anti-corruption campaign launched two years ago by President Xi Jinping, it said.

    The government on Monday issued a ban on private clubs in historical buildings and parks, which are often frequented by officials.

    Despite claims linking it to Confucius there is no consensus on the definitive origin of mahjong, a strategic game generally played with a set of 144 tiles.

    While many historians believe the modern game dates back to 19th century China, the connection has done little for the Chinese national team, which has fared badly on the international circuit in recent years.

    At this year’s Open Mahjong Championship in Germany, the highest-ranked Chinese player came in 30th , behind Japanese and European competitors.

    Users of China’s social media services on Tuesday reacted to the ban on the game with a mix of approval and bafflement.

    “You can ban officials from playing mahjong in public places, but it’s fine in their own homes,” wrote a user of Sina Weibo, a service similar to Twitter.

    “If this ban is introduced, how will officials in Chengdu live?” asked another, referring to the capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, whose residents are well known for their passion for the game.

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