The WSJ has a nice, jokey story about smalltown officials who respond to cutbacks in the hospitality budget by brewing their own rice spirit:
The Baishun official quoted this week said the town consumes around 100 jin of alcohol a month during official gatherings. A jin is a traditional Chinese measure, equal to about half a liter. “When leaders come we drink close to 20 jin,” the Baishun official said. “When village and town cadres come, we can’t not drink.”
This is the rough equivalent of a parish council getting down fifty litres of grain alcohol every month while at work; a lot of baijiu comes in at around 50% abv as well. Maybe there's more to 'we can't not drink' than a standard culturalist argument. It sounds a bit like 'we have to ferment shoe polish because the big bosses cut our booze budget, the bastards'.
I believe we discussed before somewhere the effect of alcohol on British policymaking, with reference to William 'bottle of Port for Breakfast' Pitt the Younger and the Napoleonic war. Here we might be talking about something a bit more pervasive. I mean, many of China's problems are obviously down to the generally dysfunctional nature of its adminsitration, but it would still be interesting to consider how many specific cock-ups and outrages are down to institutional alcoholism especially in, say, the provoking of mass incidents.