Vice Squad
Friday, December 12, 2003
Prostitution Trial in China

Friend of Vice Squad Dr. Christopher Young, living in British exile,
draws our attention to the trial of 14 Chinese accused of various
prostitution-related offenses
stemming from a weekend orgy
involving Japanese tourists last September. (Here's a People's
Daily article
from about the time the orgy story originally broke.)
The presumptive sex tour involved some 400 Japanese tourists and
500 Chinese prostitutes; it sparked a good deal of outrage in China,
some no doubt because of the scale of the event and the fact that
the male participants were Japanese, exacerbated by the timing
falling near the 72nd anniversary of the Japanese occupation of
northeast China. (Dr. Young suspects that there would have been
plenty of outrage even if the timing would have been less historically

The defendants face up to ten years in prison, and I find it hard
to expect leniency or acquittal in this case. The wheels of Chinese
justice roll quickly -- the trial started Friday and verdicts are
expected Saturday.

The first of the linked articles above contains this interesting
characterization: "Prostitution is technically illegal in China but has
become rife in the past two decades after economic reforms brought
prosperity to the once impoverished country." Not sure about the
implied causality there -- does prosperity cause prostitution? But
my skepticism should not be taken as an endorsement of the
opposite causal claim, that prostitution brings prosperity.

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