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Police have been ordered to get tough on sex crimes. Photo: Weibo

Chinese police vow to prioritise crackdown on sex crimes against underage victims

  • The public security ministry said a crackdown on sexual assaults has so far netted more than 32,000 suspects
  • The authorities have been spurred to act after a number of high-profile cases triggered a wave of public anger
Chinese police have vowed to prioritise cases involving underage victims as part of an ongoing crackdown on sexual assaults.
On Sunday the Ministry of Public Security announced that it had started the second phase of a 100-day campaign that began in June as the authorities tightened their control over society ahead of a major leadership reshuffle later this year.

Chinese security official calls for gang crackdown following Tangshan attack

The statement said the campaign had seen the arrests of 32,200 suspects around the country.

A wave of high-profile cases have heightened public concern about violent crime and sexual harassment against women.

Zhou Xiaoxuan had accused Zhu Jun, a well-known host at state broadcaster CCTV, of kissing and groping her in 2014, but the appeal was thrown out citing inadequate evidence.

Zhou Xiaoxuan had her #MeToo case rejected by the courts. Photo: AFP

News about the case was heavily censored on Chinese social media, and a video of Zhou reading out her final statement in front of her supporters outside the court was quickly taken down.

The ministry’s statement said that on Friday, Du Hangwei, the deputy public security minister, told a nationwide police conference to treat underage sexual assaults as major crimes and make it a priority to track down offenders.

Police were also asked to cast a wider net to find those who used online dating platforms to commit sexual assaults and solve historical cases.

Tangshan loses ‘civilised city’ status after brutal attack on women diners

Police also pledged to standardise evidence taking, regulate investigation protocols and step up efforts to protect victims’ privacy.

The authorities have been spurred to act by a number of high-profile cases that caused widespread shock and anger.

This included a group attack against four women who were beaten on the streets of the northern city of Tangshan in June after one of them rejected one of the attackers’ advances.

Nine suspects have been arrested after the assault, which left two of the victims needing hospital treatment.


Chinese women turn to self-defence classes after brutal attack on female diners in Tangshan

Chinese women turn to self-defence classes after brutal attack on female diners in Tangshan
In January, a viral video exposed a case of human trafficking, administrative negligence and abuse after a woman was found chained by the neck in a hut in Xuzhou, Jiangsu.

A number of campaigns have since been announced, vowing to protect women, children, and the elderly from abuse.

These included the 100-day campaign while the Supreme People’s Court has pledged to hand down death sentences in the most serious cases.

The authorities have long been criticised for failing to offer victims proper support and the public security ministry has now pledged to work closely with other government agencies to offer services such as legal aid and counselling.