A few days ago, The Nanfang brought you the curious story of hundreds of restaurants closing en masse in Jinan, Shandong province on the same day a national-level municipal health check was to be held in the city. We figured this would impact the faith Jinan folk have in their restaurants, and it turns out the People’s Daily Online agrees.
But there is a twist to the story. The restaurants, it turns out, probably didn’t close on their own volition. It was actually in response to a local government directive.
Here’s their commentary on the Jinan story:
‘Hygiene Initiative’ is a Farce
Against the City Hygiene Initiative, [the local government of] Jinan has ordered hundreds of restaurants to close. This has caused great inconvenience to city residents as well as attracting a lot of criticism. The Hygiene Initiative is an idea; however, the essence behind it is [as formless and insubstantial] as the art movement of Formalism. How can it bring about lasting reform to people’s perspectives on the environment? Through their governing, the new leaders of the current administration repeatedly emphasize not to reap [personal rewards] in the name of China nor to delight in false actions. Please tell us, corresponding Jinan departments: have these words gotten into your heads?
The People’s Daily Online stops short of directly accusing the government of ordering the closures, but treads awfully close. The conjecture is that the Jinan local government wanted to save itself from any possible risk of losing face on a national level. By not allowing any of its hundreds of restaurants to be evaluated, no Jinan restaurant could suffer the humiliation of being rated below standard, a shame that will come back to haunt the local government.
Photos: the Nanfang