Mayor of Dongguan: “I Had No Idea Prostitution Was Such a Big Problem”Posted: 04/10/2014 11:30 am
As parents, we try to protect our children from harm and indulge ourselves in thinking that we can preserve their innocence for just a bit longer. The world is a harsh den of vice and men, and it always will be
Yuan Baocheng, mayor of Dongguan, has now unflinchingly come into his own as a man who can see the world for what it is during a interview on the CCTV show News 1 + 1. With the gates to the garden of paradise firmly shut behind him, Yuan spoke to the media for the first time about the crackdown back in February in which he expressed his bewilderment that prostitution was such a huge problem in the town under his jurisdiction.
“But to be frank, we didn’t expect a problem as serious or widespread as the TV report showed,” Yuan stated as reported by Global Times, visibly showing his dissatisfaction that the world does not live up to his expectations. But before Yuan could express how the fine people of Dongguan have let him down, Yuan stated that his government had been “incompetent handling prostitution”.
Launched a day after a CCTV news report that exposed the city’s extensive vice trade, the crackdown would put 200,000 sex workers out of work as they fled the city in droves. The crackdown caused a huge hit to the local economy, of which Yuan stated that hotels, entertainment, bath and massage venues generated 8.3 billion yuan, or 1.5 percent of the city’s total GDP.
“The 8.3 billion yuan is not all from prostitution, drugs and gambling,” he would add, though he didn’t invoke his realization of how big a “problem” prostitution is for the local GDP, rumored to have been worth 50 billion yuan, or 10% of the city’s GDP.
Yuan was adamant that the city government had never turned a blind eye to the illegal trade. Instead, certain lower-tiered officials had secretly consented to the matter. This would include the sacking of Yan Xiaokang, deputy mayor of Dongguan and head of the police force, as well as the investigation of 36 police officers.
When confronted with the prospect of a resilient local sex trade that will continue to flourish three months from now, Yuan was steel-willed as he clung to his innocence:
“Three months from now, we will have adopted measures that no one would have expected. I can fundamentally make the determination now that whatever cases we find, we will investigate.”
One can only hope for the day when Yuan will not be able to find anymore instances of vice in Dongguan, thereby proving that no such problem even exists. Hopefully, parental supervision will be strict and Yuan won’t be contacted by prostitutes using WeChat or watch documentaries about the notorious Dongguan sex trade.