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Chinese Citizens Comment on New Regulations to Ban Pornography

Reactions from VOA listeners toward the government’s new regulations on pornography.

The Chinese communist government has recently published new regulations for recreational businesses. The new regulations bar all gambling, pornography, and other illegal activities in Karaoke bars, massage parlors, and other recreational venues. The regulations also prohibit government officials and their relatives from running recreational businesses. How do ordinary people regard the regulations? Will the regulations work? Below are reactions from VOA’s (Voice of America) audiences toward the new regulations.

Regulations Are Only a Superficial Formality

Mr. Wu from Liaoning Province said that the government published such regulations merely as a formality. People are very clear about this. Mr Wu said, "Service businesses with pornography are all run by people having connections with power. These people either have money or connections with government officials. If police make an arrest, someone will manage to get the person released immediately. Some people are so special that no one dares to arrest them—they are above the law. Do you know how much money they give to officials every year? No one dares to touch them. The laws are only a show for the outside world. Everyone knows that the laws cannot be enforced. We should learn from the West and restrict the (pornographic) services to designated areas. This practice is good for social stability."

Legalized Pornography Good for Social Stability?

Mr. Zhao from Hebei Province believes that the Chinese government should legalize prostitution, as it will be good for social stability. He said, "I suggest that prostitution be legalized. China’s family plan has caused a huge imbalance in the gender ratio. Many men will never find a wife; if their demands for sexual relations cannot be met, it will cause social disorder."

For Every Government Policy, People Have a Counterstrategy

Mr. Shi from Shanghai used to work as a security officer in an entertainment house. He said the regulations in the entertainment business have always been strict. But for every government policy, there is a local strategy to bypass it—all the rules are useless. He said: "I have lots of work experience. I worked in a dance club and later in an Internet café. I think the government policies all look ok. But again, for every policy there is a strategy. Take the Internet café as an example. The rule says no students allowed; another rule says business must close at 3 a.m., 24-hour service is not allowed. But the place where I worked, every day it was open for 24 hours. Karaoke, dance clubs are even more so. All owners are very liberal; no one really follows the rules. They must have inside connections to the government."

Many Entertainment Businesses Have Government Connections{mospagebreak}

Mr. Du from Zhejiang said that many entertainment businesses have connections with the government. Therefore, they are hard to control; in fact no one can really control them. He said: "The Chinese government issued the regulations to control the businesses. In reality, they don’t really know how to control, nor canthey control. Why? It is because all the entertainment businesses and underground gambling shops are run by people with (government) connections. Why can’t they control—because the police are collecting protection fees from the businesses. Of course, they don’t call them ‘protection fees,’ they called them ‘security fees.’ If the government cracks down, everyone will close their businesses; then the police’s supplemental income will be gone."

Mr. Du believes that the sex industry will eventually be legalized. He said: "Years ago, laws and regulations against pornography and organized crime were all published. From Deng Xiaoping to Jiang Zemin, until now, every year, the government launched some campaigns to eliminate them. But China’s reality is that people look down on poor people, not prostitutes. Sex shops, beauty saloons, gambling houses are all over the place. In the past, people still had objections and didn’t like them. Now few make a big deal out of it. So it’s better to legalize them."

According to Mr. Zhang from Shanghai, "I believe that the measure (new regulations for the entertainment business) is claiming that (the sex industry) will continue. It’s like the fight against counterfeiting: The more you fight, the more counterfeits are made. I once read in a magazine that, sometime ago in Beijing, the government closed all the sex shops one night. If they really wanted to control it, they could do it immediately. But right now they don’t really want to control."

Translated by CHINASCOPE from