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Underscoring the Dangers of Mao Tai (and Vodka)

The idea that Mainland China and Taiwan should be connected by a 124-km long tunnel got this reaction:

“The tunnel proposals were made after banquets and alcohol,” Hu Sheng-Cheng, an economist at Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s most renowned think tank, told Asia Times Online when flatly dismissing the tunnel idea. Taiwan must already spend huge sums for weaponry to deter China, which has more than 1,000 missiles aimed at the island, so that any talks on the project are totally unrealistic, he said.

The alcohol he was doubtless referring to was mao tai, the potent Chinese colourless liquor which they use for toasting during banquets.  They drink it in thimble-size glasses.  Depending upon the banquet, there can be a few thimbles full or many.  Mr. Hu obviously thinks that, at the banquet where this idea was floated, there were many.  (For the role of banquets in Chinese business, click here.)

But the Chinese are not to be outdone in this regard by the Russians, the championship drinkers of two continents.  There are dangers here too, as noted in this 2008 post:

Evidently someone at Mexican ad agency Teran|TBWA was consuming some of their client Absolut’s product when they produced this:

Reminds me of something my Russian representative told me one time.  He confidently declared that “In Russia, there is a saying that, ‘There is no agreement without vodka.’”  He paused, thought, then added, “And that’s why there are some really stupid agreements!”  (To see an example of what happens with agreements after vodka, click here.)


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