Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein
Asia Press reported a couple of weeks back about state crackdowns on illegal alcohol sales. It’s interesting that the move is highlighted as an economic measure, to push down the demand for grain:
In mid-November, a reporting partner in Yanggang Province told ASIAPRESS that the authorities had handed down an order saying that there is a complete ban on illegal alcohol manufacturing, which they referred to as an “anti-state act.”
“The authorities handed down the order on November 4 saying that because most (homemade alcohols) are made of corn, the act of manufacturing alcohol with grain supplies is an anti-state act that supports the enemies’ sanctions on the country.”
As this suggests, the reason the authorities are reacting so sensitively to the illicit manufacturing of alcohol is because they believe that the producers’ use of grains, which the government has recently moved to intensify control over, is a waste and serves as a threat to the country’s already short supply of food.
According to the reporting partner, agencies tasked with cracking down on illegally brewed alcohol informed neighborhood watch units that anyone found to be illegally producing alcohol will face at least three months at a short-term forced labor camp to show that the government does not forgive anyone who makes money from producing alcohol from grains.
The reporting partner said that the government made several arrests to show it means business: two members of street-level enforcer teams who failed to stop the production of homebrewed alcohol after receiving bribes were punished, while two officials working at a city construction office were fired for secretly acquiring 10 liters of illegally brewed alcohol.
In context, this also appears to be part of the overall state campaign to control economic activity more tightly, but at the lowest local level.View Original Article