Policing And Prostitution In China Research Papers Example

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Prostitution, China, Crime, Law, Police, Government, Politics, Criminal Justice

Pages: 10

Words: 2750

Published: 2020/12/15

Policing of Prostitution and Drugs in Contemporary China

History of Policing in Prostitution and Drugs
Though “underage female prostitution” has been recorded for years, the crime of “Engaging in Prostitution with an Underage Girl,” or (EPUG), in the context of modern day China is firmly anchored in the chronological, developmental and societal structure of China. To fully comprehend the context of the crime of EPUG, there must be an examination and evaluation of the prevailing Chinese judicial system.
Here, it is deduced that the existing judicial system being operated in the country is deficient with regards to protecting children from abuse, and it has been also found to be completely inutile in giving protection to the rights of adolescent girls. The dominance of the authority of the state vis-à-vis personal rights and liberties has had a significant impact in the manner that laws are developed and eventually implemented.
China’s legal monitoring of prostitution is relatively new area of jurisprudence, though the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has long condemned the practice. By the 1950s, the CCP even released a paper that trumpets the fact that the government has completely dismantled prostitution in China, referring to the “victory” as an “earth-shaking historic change in the social status and condition of women.” The unprecedented character of the declaration by the government would desire to leave the impression that hustling in the country totally disappeared as an item of governmental anxiety in the “New China” until it reappeared in the wake of China’s shift towards a free market economy.
Existing literature on police functions in the People’s Republic of China is extremely limited; nevertheless, the literature embraces a wide range of topics. Among the topic s addressed in these sets include the police structure, the various roles and functions of the police in the country, and strategies employed by the organization. Aside from these subjects, adverse topics are also discussed such the police misuse of power, police-community relations, and legal liability and responsibilities.
Prostitution in modern day China is a controversial topic owing to the fact that the “practice” was almost nonexistent during the “Maoist” period. Members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), in adhering to the tenets of Marxism, perceived prostitution as an asservation of the vulgarized position of women in the “feudal-capitalist” patriarchate and in this light, incongruous with the objectives of constructing socialist goals and developing equitable “socio-sexual” associations.
After its rise to power in 1949, the CCP launched a number of activities that dismantled the professional sex worker industry in China by the 1950s. However, even with the repressive prohibitions against prostitution, the actions being implemented by the police and other law enforcement agencies and the harsh sanctions in cajoling, harassment, or recruiting individuals into the industry are not even slightly impacting the expansion of the sex trade industry in the country.
If the event of hustling has risen as an item of authority and intellectual anxiety in the age of reform in China, queries regarding the best method of regulation have also come under question. Considering the scope and magnitude of the industry in China, the Consensus Recommendations, released in Beijing in 1996, states that the conditions in China at present is vastly different from those in the 1950s and in the 1960s. In addition, the Reports also states that prostitution in China is not a figment of the government’s imagination, but an extremely bitter reality that Beijing must effectively eradicate.
However, efforts to stem and eradicate prostitution in China tediously ground on as, even in the belief of Communist Party officials, party officials as well as government authorities did not have enough data on the areas that these would administer and were beset by a shortage in police personnel. The passage of the 1995 Police Law was seen as one of the critical historical instances in line with China’s initiatives to develop a state-of-the-art and professional law enforcement agency.

Social Structure of Prostitution and Drugs in China

The prostitution industry in China consisted of seven levels, or “tiers.” The first level is called the baoernai, mistresses of the more affluent male population. These are categorized as hustlers as these actively look out for wealthy men or those with a significant position. The second is called baopo, transient partners for entrepreneurs on business trips. The santing are those traditionally employed in such establishments including karaoke bars, bath houses, and massage parlors. Those that are classified as dingdong xiaojie acquire their “clients” by calling hotel rooms. Falangmei are employed in bathhouses and parlors. The lowest two are the jienu and the xiagongpeng. The former are those that “sell their wares on the streets;” the latter are employed in the peasant sector or among the proletariat.

Social Factors

The central government officially considers hustling as an “ugly social phenomenon” and transacting in the business is illegal. Even though the government has waged endless eradication campaigns against prostitution in the country, the commercial sex industry is strong and even growing; in fact, commercial sex services are blatantly offered in a number of establishments such as karaoke bars, leisure spots, and massage businesses.
There are a number of considerations to evaluate as to the reasons why the campaign against unbridled prostitution. One of the most given reasons is government malfeasance. Far reaching corruption in the ranks of law enforcement and government officials is a significant stumbling block to eradicating the sex trade in China. Many officials not only overlook the prevalence of prostitution in their jurisdictions or operating in a number of enterprises, but act as inform their “clients” when there are police operations that are about to be launched against them. With their “connections” in the police hierarchy as well as elite social circles firmly entrenched, effectively eradicating prostitution will be a near impossible task to accomplish. Here, police officials, recognizing a potential financial bonanza, “milked” the industry with the goal of providing the needed funds to operate the public security regime.
As China reestablishes itself as a global political and trading juggernaut, it must be able to ensure that half of its enormous population will be able to contribute to the continuous advancement of the country’s political, commercial, and social areas. China’s women and children have had their rights trampled upon by sex trading activities, and its prevalence has engendered an environment characterized by fear that restrains the actions of women and children and hinders “gender equality.” In another study, Xin Ren also contends that the social effect of hustling is devastating, bearing an increase in the cases of AIDS as well as “sexually transmitted diseases,” an increased in syndicated crime activities, and drug use and trading. Here, it is critical that China dismantles the mechanism that reinforces the practices of trafficking and prostitution in China.
In China, human trafficking is seen in two forms. One is when children and women are coerced into the “industrial” sex business. Here, these are forcibly pressed to become hustlers or “san pei” ladies, or “call girls.” Two, these trafficked women are taken to the rural areas to be sold as brides in villages with inordinate gender imbalances.

Economic Aspects

The connection of state and national economies on one side and hustling on the other has long been established. In a number of countries, the professional sex trade has evolved to become a major component of their economies. Businesses have popularized “night spots” where tourists and other clients can avail of the services of professional sex trade workers, and have generated a significant amount of revenue for their respective domestic and national economies. In the context of China, it is estimated that prostitution has contributed an estimated 8 percent of the country’s economic output, as cited by Zhou (2006), Peterson and Runyan (1999, as noted by Croucher, 2003:164), the professional sex trade has become one of the “major pillars of the global economy, erected literally on the bodies of women.”
The repression being inflicted on the professional sex trade in China, rather than impede its growth, serves to further reinforce its critical role in the country’s economy. The implementation in 1999 of the “Regulations on the Management of Places of Entertainment” resulted in a decrease in the economy by 1 percent. To emphasize the point, Taiyuan, Shanxi province’s capital center, was the location for an estimated 7,000 “karaoke” clubs.
Government authorities in 1996 initiated a massive clampdown in the area; the crackdown in the area resulted in a steep decline in the revenue being derived by the hotel and restaurant sector. Guests in the area pulled out an approximated 400 million Yuan from banks within the province. A month later, the government reversed its policy; in Beijing, karaoke establishments are advised of possible police inspections. However, the dates of these inspections are revealed to the business owners in advance, with the perception that activities will soon normalize.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

One of the goals of the anti hustling law in China is the containment of “sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in China. Withal, there is a level of vagueness on the relationship of the application of the law and the impact of the application of the law to the severity of HIV threats to professional sex workers. In late 2006, the government launched the Regulation on AIDS Prevention and Treatment.
The program adopted “behavior interventions” for “high risk” sectors. These “behavior interventions” indicate all actions that are utilized to bar the transmission of HIV. These include treatment modes using methadone, advocating the use of condoms, regular STI/HIV treatments, discretional HIV counseling and examinations, and peer-oriented training and equipping.

Related to Crime and Drugs

Narcotics use in China has grown in popularity in recent years. Recognizing the threat of illegal narcotics to China’s society, the government has ratified a number of new policies on the monitoring on the use of illicit drugs and evaluates the interventions to mitigate the deleterious effects among drug abusers in the country. The 2008 Narcotics Control Law has initiated a major restructuring on drug abuse monitoring in China. The law establishes a definite leadership mechanism as well as an implementing system for monitoring narcotics use in the country. Nevertheless, even with the adoption of numerous policies designed to intensify narcotic use monitoring activities, the assessment of these programs and attendant adverse impact mitigation policies have not been extensively reviewed.
China has become a significant transshipment point for illegal drugs, namely heroin coming from the “Golden Triangle” area; China’s efforts to address the crisis have been to frame the issue as a medical concern. With the growing affluence and direction of the economy to a market based approach, criminal activity such as fraud and credit related criminal activity have risen. Though it is disconcerting that criminal activity has risen, what is more perplexing is that many of these “common crimes,” or “public order crimes,” are not always reported. Criminal statistics have risen over the past 30 years. Among the crimes that have risen in this period are those associated with drug use as well as economic malfeasance crimes. In order to curtail the growth of criminal activity in the country, the Chinese government has launched with a wave of “Strike Hard” programs, similar to the “get tough” programs in the United States.

Legalization efforts

The official CCP stance regarding prostitution continues to uphold the illegality of the act. However, taken from a point of benevolence, China’s leadership have initiated symbolic measures to standardize, legitimize, and buttress monitoring of police authority in the aftermath of media disclosures and castigation of police corruption and abuse related to the suppression of prostitution in the country; nevertheless, these initiatives must not be taken as a move away from the “abolitionist” stance taken by the government and decriminalizing prostitution in China.
This party stance towards the legalization of the commercial sex trade is a legacy of the socialist origins of the CCP. It must be emphasized that legalizing prostitution is not on the agenda of the Party, and the activist stance against prostitution is consistent with the policy declaration of the United Nation in its “Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); Article 6 of the agreement states that “parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women.”
CEDAW fiercely proposes the eradication of prostitution in all forms; however, CEDAW proposes the legalization of prostitution in China as well as in other countries where prostitution is prevalent. The body cites that legalizing prostitution cab be beneficial in a number of ways; inclusive of these benefits are improving the health status of sex workers, curtail the spillover of HIV/AIDS as well as other sexually transmitted diseases, and it also expected that legalizing prostitution would immediately stop human trafficking for the commercial sex industry. Legalizing the activity will remove the criminal sanctions in the offense while retaining the administrative and regulatory requirements for the industry.
In addition, legalization will afford full rights to these sex workers, even though only in theory. If actually implemented, state regulated prostitution is more restrictive to prostitutes than legalization; in addition, state regulated prostitution will transform the state from the opponent of prostitutes to become the ultimate panderer; the state will not only exercise authority over the industry, it will collect all revenues to be derived from the industry. Funding institutions will be extremely resistant to lending brothels and other similar establishments, even though the status of these establishments before the law has changed.
Furthermore, feminism advocates are also opposed to legalizing prostitution, stating that by sanctioning the activity, it is reinforcing the notion that women’s bodies are nothing more than commodities to be traded, sold, or bought similar to manufactures and goods. However, these critics are opposed to imposing criminal sanctions on prostitutes, stating that by criminalizing prostitution, it would limit the options as to how women will be able to predispose of their bodies “as these see fit.” One of the more revolutionary policy solutions is found in the Swedish prostitution law, which bans purchasing sexual services while permitting selling the same. Nevertheless, the Swedish model has never been accepted as a viable option by other countries.


Commercial trafficking in women and children for prostitution is one of the largest businesses in China today. The CCP has the responsibility of curtailing sexual slavery in the country; however, the government has yet to effectively develop policies that will contain and eliminate prostitution in the country. Though the Chinese leadership is taking steps to address the issue, there is no cure all for the problem. China’s anti-prostitution law enforcement efforts have made little progress in preventing the spread of HIV in the commercial sex service industry. Police efforts have contributed to the rise in HIV infections among workers in the industry; protection mechanisms such as condoms have been used by the police as evidence has deterred the workers from using or even carrying one as these provide their “services.”
Furthermore, prostitution eradication efforts have engendered a culture of violence against commercial sex workers. These two components have worsened the risk factor for sex workers to be exposed to HIV infection and significantly restrict the leverage of these workers to negotiate for “safe sex” opportunities. Here, there are recommendations that call for the decriminalization of prostitution in the country. These oppressive laws are incompatible with the declaration of integrality of human rights jurisprudence, a primary principle long founded by international human rights laws. In the light of the absence of a potent mechanism to stop prostitution, the constricting law will not be able to acquiesce to the global standards for prostitution and human trafficking.


Associated Press, “HRW: Sex workers in China subject to police abuse” Asian Journal 2013
Bell, Daniel, China’s New Confucianism: Politics and everyday life in a changing society (Princeton: Princeton University Press) 2010; 60
Conaway, Matthew, “The trafficking of women and girls for prostitution and brides in China” <http://www.academia.edu/277740/The_Trafficking_of_Women_and_Girls_for_Prostitution_and_Brides_in_China
Dai, Mengyan, “Policing in the People’s Republic of China: a review of recent literature,” <http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10611-008-9131-7#page-1
Dammer, Harry, Albanese, Jay, Comparative criminal justice system (New York: Cengage Learning) 2013; 85
Dougherty, Niklas, “Prostitution in contemporary China: the case of Shanghai Jiading” Master’s thesis, Lund University, 2006) 45-46
Duan, Xiaosong, “The crime of engaging in prostitution with an underage girl in Chinese law,” US Pennsylvania East Asia Law Review (2014); 13-14
Hyde, Sandra Teresa, Eating Spring Rice: The Culture Politics of AIDS in Southwest China, (Oakland: University of California Press) 2007; 132
Jeffreys, Ellaine, China, sex, prostitution (New York: Routledge) 2004; 102
Jeffreys, Ellaine, Prostitution scandals in China: policing, media and society (New York: Routledge, 2012) 2
Kingston, Sarah, Prostitution in the Community: Attitudes, Action, and Resistance (New York: Routledge) 2013; 95
Li, Jianhua, Ha, Toan H.,  Zhang, Cummin , Liu, Hongjie, The Chinese government’s response to drug use and HIV/AIDS: a review of policies and programs, Harm Reduction Journal Volume 7 (2010)
Meng, Jinmei On the decriminalization of sex work in China: HIV and patient’s rights, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan) 2013; 138
Min Liu, Migration, Prostitution, and Human Trafficking: the voice of Chinese women (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers) 2013; 180
Palmer, Michael, “Changing policing in the People’s Republic of China,” Taiwan in Comparative Perspective Volume 3 (2011)
Sapio, Flora “Prostitution and migration in China: from rehabilitation to retribution,” <http://www.unive.it/media/allegato/dep/n17-2011/7_Sapio.pdf
Watts, Jonathan “Sex, drugs, and HIV/AIDS in China,” <http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2808%2960087-2/fulltext
Wright, Terry Norton, “100 countries and their prostitution policies,” < http://terrynorton-wrightblog.com/2012/04/11/100-countries-and-their-prostitution-policies/
Appendix 1
Figure 1: Proportion of legal, limited legalization, and illegal prostitution. Source: Terry Norton Wright (2012).

Cite this page
Choose cite format:
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Chicago
  • ASA
  • IEEE
  • AMA
WePapers. (2020, December, 15) Policing And Prostitution In China Research Papers Example. Retrieved May 27, 2024, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/policing-and-prostitution-in-china-research-papers-example/
"Policing And Prostitution In China Research Papers Example." WePapers, 15 Dec. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/policing-and-prostitution-in-china-research-papers-example/. Accessed 27 May 2024.
WePapers. 2020. Policing And Prostitution In China Research Papers Example., viewed May 27 2024, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/policing-and-prostitution-in-china-research-papers-example/>
WePapers. Policing And Prostitution In China Research Papers Example. [Internet]. December 2020. [Accessed May 27, 2024]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/policing-and-prostitution-in-china-research-papers-example/
"Policing And Prostitution In China Research Papers Example." WePapers, Dec 15, 2020. Accessed May 27, 2024. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/policing-and-prostitution-in-china-research-papers-example/
WePapers. 2020. "Policing And Prostitution In China Research Papers Example." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved May 27, 2024. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/policing-and-prostitution-in-china-research-papers-example/).
"Policing And Prostitution In China Research Papers Example," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 15-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/policing-and-prostitution-in-china-research-papers-example/. [Accessed: 27-May-2024].
Policing And Prostitution In China Research Papers Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/policing-and-prostitution-in-china-research-papers-example/. Published Dec 15, 2020. Accessed May 27, 2024.

Share with friends using:

Related Premium Essays
Contact us
Chat now