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Sep 9, 2013

Mooncakes to be Banned as Gifts by Chinese Officials

Mooncake, a Chinese delicacy, is a sweet and tender pastry with an egg yolk in the center.  Mooncakes are used as gifts to present to families and friends during the Zhongqiu, a holiday celebrated on the 15th of the 8th month of the Lunar Calendar, a tradition and/or holiday similar to that of the Western Thanksgiving.  Mooncakes are an important part of the festival and a symbol respecting the tradition.

However, some Chinese government officials have been using public money to purchase expensive mooncakes as gifts.  It has been reported by CNN that these simple pastries can be packaged luxuriously and can cost up to $300.  The issue with these gifts is that sometimes not, only, mooncakes are in the package, but other goods, such as "high-grade tea leaves, bottles of alcohol or hidden envelops of cash." A small gesture of friendliness may, sometimes, be nothing more than a bribe.

With the problems of bribing influential people, Xi Jinping, the current President of China, has set new laws, banning the purchasing of mooncakes as gifts with public money.  However, even if this new restriction has taken place, will Chinese officials, simply, find alternative gifts to use for the same purpose?

An article written by CNN regarding this issue can be found at: Chinese government cracks down on mooncakes. 

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