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Prostitution crackdown in China’s ‘Sin City’ exposes graft

Image courtesy of CCTVAuthorities are clamping down on corrupt police officers offering protection to sex workers in southern China’s “sin city” of Dongguan.

The crackdown, triggered by an investigative report aired on China Central Television (CCTV), “may have been an orchestrated effort involving China’s central government, state media and Guangdong Communist Party chief Hu Chunhua, and could be a preview to a second round of anti-graft sweeps across the country.”

Dongguan police chief and vice mayor, Yan Xiaokang, along with seven other officials, have been sacked. Yan has been criticized for allowing Dongguan’s illegal sex trade to thrive and tarnish the city’s image.

The sweep has also uncovered links between government officials and Dongguan’s booming sex trade. A five-star hotel featured in CCTV’s broadcast turned out to be run by a National People’s Congress deputy.

One manager of a large upscale brothel was secretly taped saying, “We’re not afraid of the police. But we are afraid of journalists.”

According to the Ministry of Public Security, the investigation has led to about 1,000 arrests and has now spread to several other provinces.

Sources: RFA, Reuters, Want China Times, Legal Weekly (法治周末), Duowei News (多维新闻)

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Hui Zhi is a Senior China Analyst with the China Compliance Digest, where a version of this post first appeared.

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