Clampdown on degenerate cadres

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 June, 2009, 12:00am

Authorities in the prefecture in Hubei where an official was stabbed by a woman he was harassing have ordered a clampdown on officials visiting illegal entertainment venues - especially brothels.

Authorities in Enshi , which includes Badong county and Yesanguan town, vowed to eradicate prostitution, gambling and drug abuse among officials in a special crackdown, Xinhua reported yesterday.

On May 10, pedicurist Deng Yujiao stabbed an official to death with a fruit knife after he demanded sex in a case that spawned a massive outpouring of anger over the degenerate behaviour of local cadres.

The announcement, which was carried in newspapers across the province, was the latest step in the propaganda campaign that has followed the gagging of media on the mainland.

Police said they would target officials visiting prostitutes or providing protection to brothels and they would face criminal charges. The Enshi government said it would 'make public any officials, especially Communist Party members, involved [in prostitution] and punish them strictly according to the law and party disciplinary procedures'.

On Sunday, Hubei province began a three-month campaign against prostitution and illegal activities at entertainment venues. These campaigns follow a similar effort in Guizhou in April that was launched after four officials went on trial for using teenage prostitutes.

Mainland internet users were sceptical about the campaign.

'The Guizhou case was gradually played down by the authorities and within a few months had come to nothing,' one netizen said. 'My only advice for the public is keep your children and female family members away from the country's officials.'

Netizens also complained about the fact that it took nearly three weeks for Badong county's disciplinary body to dismiss two other officials involved in the May 10 incident, one of whom allegedly cornered Deng.

State media said the sacked cadres, Huang Dezhi and Deng Zhongjia , had tarnished the image of government officials by accepting favours from businessmen and assaulting a pedicurist for refusing to bathe with them. They were not punished until after public anger had erupted.