This Bystander has been in sufficient army mess halls and enjoyed sufficient banquets and receptions to know that a drop or two of alcohol may, on occasion, get consumed. But even we were slightly taken aback to see that the abstemious Xi Jinping’s ban on senior military officials holding extravagant alcoholic banquets was enough to knock more than 5% off the share price of Kweichow Moutai. The state owned conglomerate counts being China’s leading distiller among a range of business interests from IT to airport investment. Most pertinently, it makes Moutai, the premium white spirit that is a PLA favorite. We could do nothing else but take a reviving glass to steady our nerves.

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