Gold books as bribes
Books decorated with gold and platinum are the new vehicle for bribery in china.india Updated: Mar 11, 2006 14:01 IST
Forget about cars, booze or stacks of cash. Books, particularly those decorated with gold and platinum, are the new vehicle for bribery in China, according to a Chinese lawmaker. Chen Shuyu, a member of the National People's Congress, wants the state publishing authority to ban production of such books, which retail at 10,000 yuan (US$1,250;€1,050) or more, the official Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday.
"It caters to the unhealthy tendency of conspicuous consumption in the first place," Chen was quoted as saying.
"In addition, it tends to be used as a disguised means of bribery," he said.
Xinhua said such volumes come gilded, embossed with precious metals, or even printed on gold or platinum foil. Titles range from biography and the writings of Chinese notables to Buddhist sutras. Chen said such books are frequently given as bribes because they appear more innocent than the usual cash, jewellery and other pricey items.
He cited a case where a real estate developer in the southern city of Guangzhou gave away 15 of the expensive volumes to officials as gifts over the recent lunar New Year holiday.
"What's it for? For bribery apparently," Chen said.