Daily Management Review

China's Communist Party Decree Makes Golf Legal Once Again


China's Communist Party Decree Makes Golf Legal Once Again
The Communist party of China has decreed that teeing off is not a crime allowing the lifting of millions of fairway fanatics out of the rough.
Golf enjoyed a renaissance during the 80s and 90s only to be outlawed for the party’s 85 million members in 2015 as a result of president Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive. Golf was initially banned by Mao Zedong who despised the “sport for millionaires”.
China’s golf courses have been painted as cauldrons of profiteering where the palms of rotten officials are greased by favor-seeking business people in articles in the party-controlled media.
“The golf course is gradually changing into a muddy field where they trade money for power,” one state run newspaper complained in 2015.
Party leaders appeared to step back from their condemnation of the game this week.
“Since it is only a sport, there is no right or wrong about playing golf,” an article in the Discipline Inspection and Supervision News, the official newspaper of China’s anti-corruption agency, declared.
Article 87 of the Communist party’s disciplinary regulations that deals with the potential punishments for the illicit possession of golf membership cards was pointed out in the article of the newspaper.
“Can officials play golf while the nation steps up efforts to clamp down on corruption and promote austerity. The answer is yes - if they pay out of their own pockets?” the China Daily asked.
“Playing golf itself is not a wrongdoing,” the newspaper confirmed.
The Communist party continued to harbour serious reservations about golf, suggested a report in the Global Times tabloid.
Chinese golf course had become “an arena for corruption” where bribes were routinely offered to government officials, Su Wei, an academic at a school for Communist party cadres in Chongqing , told the newspaper Chinese.
“Golf can satisfy some officials’ vanity, corrupting their lifestyle, which can lead to damage to the Party’s image and the erosion of officials’ ability to serve,” Su was quoted as saying.
President Xi’s bid to eradicate corruption affected, among others,  many of China’s burgeoning golfing community.
Some of the most senior members of the People’s Liberation Army and former security chief Zhu Yongkang Zhoy Yongkang are among many of the party’s most powerful figures have been thrown into jail since he came to power.
His determination to cleanse China’s government was evident in the words that were used by Xi in January.
“To forge iron,” he said, “one must be strong.”