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Time not Ripe to Make ``Sexual Bribery'' a Crime in China

Amid increasing social and academic demands that ``sexual bribery'' be made a crime, China's Prosecutors' Daily said that people would have to wait for the crime to materialize in the country.

``Sexual bribery,'' trading sex for favorites, is ``in essence an ethical problem'', which does not have a legal implication, the newspaper quoted Law Professor Gao Mingxuan from China's Renmin University, as saying on Monday.

Gao also argued that conventional crimes of taking goods and money bribes could be measured, however, sex could not. Besides, collecting evidence will prove to be difficult, he said.

Currently, increasing Chinese academicians and jurists are proposing to amend China's cardinal Criminal Code to include Communist Party and government officials soliciting and accepting ``sexual service'' as a crime of bribery.

Their arguments: the addition making ``sexual bribery'' punishable by law will effectively strengthen China's crackdown on corruption.

Cases of women being used to officials for illicit gains have been on the rise in recent years, and ``sexual bribery'', like goods and money bribery, is eroding the government conducts and jeopardizing society.

However, Gao of the Renmin University, one of China's leading law schools, told reporters that to codify ``sexual bribery'' runs against traditional Chinese belief that sex is a ``relationship between men and women.''

Once made punishable, ``many people may find it unacceptable,'' he argued, adding officials soliciting sex should be punished by the ``Ethics Court,'' or given disciplinary penalty, like ``being expelled from the Communist Party'' or getting demoted.

Others disagreed.

Jin Weidong, another law professor from the Nanjing University, deemed ``sexual bribery'' sometimes is more powerful and damaging than money and goods bribery.

Some elements were found out using women or ``expensive prostitutes'' to bribe government officials in order to lure favours from public servants.

He cited a report in which a provincial level leader accepted sexual services from a woman, who then demanded a job in his jurisdiction.

(chinadaily 12/12/2000)

Sexual Bribery Must Be Made a Crime in China
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