The Chinese government is cracking down on everything the Chinese love: hookers, gambling and drug use. OK, not everything the Chinese love – pirated DVDs and spitting on the street are still fair game.
The first step in the nationwide sweep began on Feb. 10 in the southern city of Dongguan, known as China’s “sin city”. Dongguan, a manufacturing hub overflowing with migrant workers, has long tolerated prostitution as a way of life. Until now. 6,000 officers were dispatched to China’s sex capital last week to carry out a series of raids on hotels, karaoke bars, nightclubs, saunas and massage parlours – the usual places hookers gather.
The hooker crackdown, referred to as the “sweep yellow” campaign, spread to 16 Chinese cities over the last week, resulting in 1,000 detained suspects and a potential dip in the Chinese economy, where prostitution accounts for six to eight percent of the GDP. Since the “yellow sweep” began police units across China have investigated almost 1,500 prostitution related cases, uncovered 73 criminal gangs, arrested more than 500 people and shut down more than 2,400 sites where sex was on sale.
The recent crackdown on hookers is part of Communist Party leader Xi Jinping’s larger anti-corruption goals. Xi is determined to eliminate the sex industry and push his conservative and purity-based values on the rest of the country – one hooker at a time.
The only problem? It’s often the well-connected residents, government officials, and bribe hungry police officers who most enjoy the benefits of China’s “sin city”. So… not sure how that will work out, but my best guess is not well.