In fact, some job adverts explicitly demand applicants who can hold their alcohol. "Candidates with good drinking capacity will be prioritised," says one for the Hunan Zhike Public Security Engineering Company, an alarms and surveillance technology firm that is seeking a business manager."The job is to develop business through establishing closer connections with our clients. Drinking is a big part of the work," explains the recruiter, adding that the successful candidate will need to handle 250 to 500ml of baijiu at a time.
Destructive drinking isn’t really a college thing here as it is an indispensable social ritual among mature, grown up men. They drink not for the thrill of getting wasted, but to show that they are trustworthy and upright. Yes, drinking excessively is a respectable quality here. We have this word (é…’å“), which combines the word for alcohol (é…’) and the word for personal integrity (äººå“). The result is a concept which glorifies drinking and associates it with one’s dignity.Business dinners in China are the most prominent display of our die-hard drinking culture. Even if you can’t drink, you need to drink to give your business partner face and respect, and also to show him that you are honest and trustworthy by putting your life on the line and drinking more than you are capable of. It’s not uncommon to find people whose entire career is built on their ability to drink. But of course not everyone in China abides by the same rule. The drinking culture in Shanghai for example is a lot more moderate. But that’s also why people from Shanghai are often the subject of ridicule at dinner tables.
I observed various other forms of duplicity, including toasting beer against brandy; diluting beer with water; toast deflection (finding someone more worthy of a toast than you -- this often victimized the women) and, the coup de grace, one Japanese executive actually pretending to be passed out at the table. He somehow managed a miraculous recovery when it was time to walk to the bus.
Fellow passengers said the man spoke nonsense from his seat, before falling over and acting crazy as the vehicle passed through a roundabout in the city's Shapingba district. The bus driver reported the incident to the police. When three officers boarded the bus, they found the man in a drunken state, yelling that his belongings were missing. After they located his cell phone under his seat and passed it to him, he started to bite on the phone and chew its SIM card, forcing the officers to retrieve it from his mouth with their fingers. Some of his colleagues who were summoned to collect him explained to the police that he had been entertaining clients and had too much to drink.
"I had to retire early not because I did not do my job well, but because I did it too well!" wrote Long Bowen, a former government official, in an article published on the Communist Party of China News Net. Long, once a promising basketball player, retired after a physical examination revealed he was suffering from diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver and ascites, excess fluid in the space between the tissues lining the abdomen and abdominal organs. "My body was getting too weak because of all those years of ‘good work,’" he wrote.