China's police authorities have launched a three-month campaign to clamp down on prostitution, which is a "malignant tumor of the society," according to a senior government official.
The three-month crackdown by the Central Committee for Comprehensive Management of Public Security and the Ministry of Public Security started this past weekend and will continue until October, ahead of the 60th anniversary celebration of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Chen Jiping, vice-director of the security committee, was quoted by China Daily as saying that prostitution has become a severe social issue and tangible results should be achieved with this new crackdown.
According to the agencies, three kinds of violators will be targeted: individuals or groups who force, tempt, permit or introduce women to prostitution; operators of entertainment venues that permit or introduce prostitution; and anyone who conducts illegal activities with minors.
The security agencies also listed three kinds of locales as high-risk: entertainment venues such as dance halls and nightclubs; service businesses such as beauty salons and massage parlors; and public places such as hotels, restaurants and rental houses.
Prostitution has grown in recent years in China, according to the Ministry of Public Security. Police have investigated approximately 140,000 cases of prostitution annually, or about 383 cases each day. Nearly 250,000 perpetrators, which include prostitutes and clients, are suspected to be involved annually.