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China Sides With Prostitutes Against The Party

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At some point in the last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping must have asked himself, “Since when do the Chinese people have more sympathy for prostitutes than for the government?” It’s a reasonable question. Nine days ago Chinese authorities dispatched more than 6,000 police officers to raid the more than 3,000 businesses that constitute the notorious, wholly illegal $8 billion sex trade in Dongguan, a southern Chinese manufacturing hub. Illicit sex on that scale cannot exist without official complicity, greased by payoffs. Xi no doubt assumed that Chinese citizens would thus get behind this latest offensive in the broader battle he’s launched against official corruption.

Yet in the immediate aftermath of the Dongguan raids and the state-produced television expose that supposedly inspired them, ordinary Chinese have reacted with far less enthusiasm than they have to Xi’s clampdown on the banquets and other extravagances enjoyed by China’s bureaucrats. That’s putting it mildly: The government and CCTV -- the state-owned network that aired the expose -- have in fact been subjected to nine days of abuse, contempt and ridicule by online Chinese.

Are these people seen as wanting to earn a living and are not corrupt Chinese officials?

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