China media: Anti-vice crackdown

Chinese policemen arrest suspected prostitutes in Dongguan Image copyright AFP
Image caption Chinese policemen arrest suspected prostitutes in Dongguan

A nationwide anti-vice crackdown receives prominent coverage in Monday's papers as the security authority "urges" police to learn from the "Dongguan lesson".

Two weeks ago, the state-owned CCTV channel aired an investigative report which revealed that dozens of hotels in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan were offering sex services. The TV channel also accused police of turning a blind eye.

Hours after the report, 67 people were arrested in the city and 12 entertainment venues were shut down. Several officials were also sacked, including Yan Xiaokang, vice-mayor of Dongguan and head of the city's public security bureau.

China Daily quotes the Ministry of Public Security as saying that it will "resolutely investigate, severely punish and firmly crack down on the organisers, operators and 'protective umbrellas' involved in prostitution crimes".

The China News Service reports that over the past few days police have raided a large number of entertainment venues suspected of providing sex services in various provinces, including Jiangsu, Hunan, Heilongjiang, Shandong and Sichuan.

This comes as four party leaders from local townships in Dongguan made public apologies that were published in various media outlets.

The officials admitted to serious errors in managing the problem and promised to thoroughly fulfil their duties in fighting crime.

The Xinhua news agency comments that the public apologies would serve as a warning to other officials in the country and hopes that this would "correct moral values" and mobilise society in the fight against prostitution and pornography.

'Extravagant public expenses'

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce is under the media spotlight after the anti-graft watchdog accused it of mismanagement.

According to the China News Service, inspection teams from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) have discovered "several malpractices" in the ministry since last October.

These included mismanaging "foreign aid projects" and "domestic capital for trade", as well as officials having a vested interest in the distribution of funds.

The inspectors have also criticised the ministry for extravagant public expenses, such as organising costly exhibitions and conferences.

Shen Yang, a political commentator and scholar, points out that China's anti-graft efforts still rely more on central power rather than on a system that is capable of tackling such problems.

"Many senior officials were punished after the CCDI's inspection, which deserves credit as we can now see an increased effort to lock up high-level corrupt officials. But this also indicates that there is weak supervision from local authorities and inadequate supervision from the public and the media," he argues in a Global Times interview.

China-Taiwan relations

Moving on to other news, Lien Chan, honorary chairman of the ruling Kuomintang Party in Taiwan, has begun a four-day visit to mainland China.

According to Taiwan media, he will meet China's President Xi Jinping for "non-governmental exchanges", and his trip has "no specific mission".

The China News Service says the theme of Mr Lien's visit is "to take a walk in spring to visit friends", and notes that "the leaders of the Communist Party and the Kuomintang have maintained close contact in recent years, with Mr Lien visiting the mainland almost every year".

"Since the beginning of this year, major events have been occurring one after the other between the two sides. The 'Zhang-Wang meeting' [the historic meeting between officials from China and Taiwan held in Nanjing last week] has just ended and the excitement has not yet subsided. Taiwan, mainland China and all others abroad will continue to pay attention to the meeting and analyse it," the news service adds.

Lien Chan, who is a former vice-president of Taiwan, met Xi Jinping a year ago, and is also the first Taiwanese politician to meet Mr Xi after he became the Communist Party's general secretary in November 2012.

Mr Lien has told the media in Taiwan that "the cross-strait problems are created by the previous generation… it will be best if we could solve them within our generation", the Taihai Net website notes.

And finally, media are rejoicing after the Chinese film Bai Ri Yan Huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice) won the Golden Bear for best picture at the Berlin international film festival.

Liao Fan, the Chinese actor who played an overweight detective on the trail of a serial killer, won the prize for best actor in the same film.

Chinese movie critic Tan Fei tells the Global Times that the award shows how the global perception of China has changed, as this film "depicts contemporary Chinese urban life with more universal values" as compared with previous winners that exhibited a more "folksy" style and rural settings.

The critic. however, adds that "if censorship was less strict, then I believe there will be more [good] movies with more diverse scripts".

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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