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China probes death of official who "drank himself to death" at lavish banquet

Published on Jan 27, 2014 6:32 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's anti-graft watchdog is investigating events surrounding a boozy small-town banquet at which one official "drank himself to death", the agency said in a statement.

Lavish banquets, where tables are often piled high with expensive rice liquor and exotic delicacies, are both a frequent indulgence for China's elite and a symbol of government excess.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is investigating Mr Chen Ruixi, deputy mayor of the small city of Sanming in coastal Fujian province, who attended the banquet, as well as his colleagues.

One official died suddenly after the feast, held at the canteen of a private company, the agency said, adding that the event had made a "negative social impact".

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