Golf is No Longer Banned in China

By James O Malley on at

Members of the Chinese Community Party are now allowed to play golf, following a change in the rules governing the party.

Yep - golf was previously banned for party members following fears that the sport was being used to help corruption: The fairway makes for an ideal meeting place for millionaire business people and politicians to meet up and talk about bribes. So last year President Xi Jinping created the ban for party members in response.

This wasn't just banning a few thousand people: The party has a staggering 85 million members, because in a one-party state like China whether you agree with the ideology or not joining the party is a good thing for ambitious people to do, as it keeps elites happy and provides opportunities for career advancement. If members were caught grabbing an illicit game, they risked being banned from the party, or losing their jobs in the party.

Under Chairman Mao's brutal leadership between the end of WWII and 1976, golf was made properly illegal for everyone in China - a ban that was only overturned in the 1980s when he was dead.

According to The Guardian news of the unbanning was announced in the official newspaper of China's anti-corruption agency, the Discipline Inspection and Supervision News, which said that "Since it is only a sport, there is no right or wrong about playing golf" and "Playing golf itself is not a wrongdoing".

So good news for Chinese golfers, though we can't help but wonder if the move was made as an early conciliatory gesture to President Trump... [The Guardian]