Hooker lobbyists

The Chinese state media reports that party officials are increasingly using sexual favors as bribes.

By Jack Boulware

Published December 19, 2000 8:11PM (EST)

The cost of doing business often includes the traditional game of bribery. In China, government officials must pay close attention to favors offered them. If caught accepting money or gifts, they can be harshly penalized and even executed. You may ask, but what about accepting sexual bribes? In China, apparently not a problem.

In a report published in the Chinese state media, a Nanjing University professor claims that Communist Party and government officials have learned to circumvent the legal definition of bribery, and are increasingly accepting prostitutes in return for favors. Essentially, a carload of hookers has replaced a briefcase full of cash as the national political currency. China's laws have no stipulation about so-called "sexual bribery," so anybody wanting to get some business done merely sends over some girls, and things get taken care of.

This popular sex-for-power system has recently imploded in the halls of Chinese government. In the southeast Fujian province, a brothel owner in Xiamen allegedly used his little business to bribe hundreds of officials. Whenever the men dropped by the club for a visit and a little you-know-what, the man reportedly videotaped the officials cavorting with young hookers. This would provide him with insurance -- the threat of making the tapes public just in case things didn't quite work out. The ensuing brouhaha has been called the largest government corruption scandal in China.

According to the BBC, professor Jin Weidong also explains in his report that sexual bribery can be even more powerful than the cash payoff. One young woman who jumped the bones of a provincial official was rewarded with a new job -- the head of the provincial government's representative office in Hong Kong.

Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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