This will appear odd but, until fairly recently, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ran karaoke bars, revenues from which went directly into the local commander’s pockets. Even today, the PLA runs piggeries to ensure a steady supply of pork to the men in uniform. It’s part of an extensive network of commercial enterprises that has enriched the generals and senior commanders. One general even gave his daughter a debit card worth millions because he was making so much money. Another general, whose home was raided, was found to have boxes of gold in his basement. These excesses prompted President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption in the army (and Communist Party) but graft always finds a way: the navy is known to smuggle drugs, cigarettes and liquor that are disposed of for a tidy profit once the vessel touches port.
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