A Chinese official is under investigation for golfing

Beijing golferElizabeth Dalziel/APA golfer at Beijing’s Honghua International Golf Club course.

Chinese authorities are investigating a party official on allegations of… golfing.

Wang Shenyang, head of the Commerce Ministry’s cooperation department, is under investigation for breaking rules on extravagance by “participating in golf and other events organised by companies,” Reuters reported.

The Global Times, which described Wang as head of the Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation, said the golf event was organised by an unnamed company.

And according to the South China Morning Post, Wang may also be suspected of using company funds to pay for his personal golfing expenses. His predecessor at the Ministry of Commerce, Wu Xilin, is also under investigation for corruption.

The news comes after Chinese authorities on Monday announced they had closed 66 golf courses around the country for environmental reasons. The closures are based on a rarely-enforced ban imposed in 2004 to protect land and water resources.

Golf was banned in China as a “bourgeois excess” under Mao Zedong’s rein as chairman. Today, China’s wealthy see golf as a way of affirming their status.

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