BEIJING (AP) — China has launched a three-month crackdown on prostitution ahead of the communist regime’s 60th anniversary on Oct. 1, state media reported on Tuesday, June 30.
Prostitution, while technically illegal in China, is prevalent and the keeping of mistresses among prominent businessmen and Communist Party officials is considered commonplace.
The crackdown is part of a countrywide push against gang crime and drug trafficking, the official China Daily said.
In the past year, growing unemployment has been linked to a spike in gang crimes, which prompted the Ministry of Public Security to create a special division that is solely focused on organized prostitution, gambling, drug production, and trafficking.
The crackdown will target individuals and groups that introduce women to prostitution, operators of entertainment venues that permit prostitution, and anyone who conducts illegal activities with minors, the newspaper said.
“Prostitution has become a severe social issue and tangible results should be achieved with this new crackdown,” said Chen Jiping, a senior security official.
Calls to the Ministry of Public Security ran unanswered Tuesday.
Police will target entertainment venues such as dance halls and nightclubs, businesses such as beauty salons and massage parlors, and hotels and restaurants that are hotspots for prostitution rings, according to the report.
The China Daily said police have investigated about 140,000 cases of prostitution annually in recent years, involving nearly 250,000 people, including prostitutes and their clients. ♦