IP and Law
Posted by Joel Martinsen on Sunday, July 3, 2005 at 3:10 PM
A new standard for alcohol sales issued by the Ministry of Commerce prohibits stores and restaurants from selling alcohol to minors, starting 1 July. So does this establish a drinking age?
"Minors may not drink in this restaurant" - will this become a common sight?
Well, the Ministry says that the standard is not an iron rule, but rather a guideline. And besides, there is already a law on the books: the "Prevention of Juvenile Crime" law from 1999 states that "no business may sell alcohol or tobacco to minors."
A reporter for the Chongqing Evening News did a quick survey of supermarkets, local convenience stores, and bars, and found they were still selling to children and youth.
In 2002, Guangdong Province wrote a drinking age into the first draft of a new set of alcohol regulations, but it was later deleted after complaints that the rural elderly and infirm would be inconvenienced if their children could no longer buy alcohol for them.
And last year a restaurant in Shenyang put up the sign shown here, refusing to serve alcohol to minors. Of course, it only did so after a group of drunken teenagers beat up a driver, who retaliated by running them down. It remains to be seen what the response will be to the Ministry's guidelines.
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Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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+ Korean history doesn't fly on Chinese TV screens (2007.09): SARFT puts the kibbosh on Korean historical dramas.
+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.