Prostitution and propaganda in the People’s Republic of China

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China's Thought Management, 2012, pp. 146 - 163
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© 2012 editorial selection and matter, Anne-Marie Brady. In 2006, a series of highly publicized events brought into question the history and nature of prostitution-related propaganda in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). On 19 January, Zhou Ruijin - former deputy editor-in-chief of the People’s Daily and Jiefang Ribao (Liberation Daily) - published an article on the Dongfang (Orient) website entitled ‘Delegates at the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress Should Discuss Legalizing the Underground Sex Industry.'2 In March, Chi Susheng, an NPC representative from Heilongjiang Province, similarly proposed that China should legalize prostitution.3 Chinese academics have variously suggested that the PRC should overturn its historical ban on the prostitution industry in order to give womenin-prostitution legal protections, halt police and cadre corruption, and help the work of HIV/AIDS prevention.4 However, Zhou and Chi’s respective proposals that China’s highest legislative body should make prostitution legal and open to a system of government management were heralded as extraordinary by China’s media because of their standing as active members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and due to the corollary claim that such actions would assist the PRC’s current policy goal of ‘developing a civilized and harmonious society’.5.
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