Legal conundrum over sexual bribery
Updated: 2013-07-18 09:47
By Luo Wangshu in Chongqing and Cao Yin in Beijing (China Daily)
The phrase "Mistress anti-corruption" is popular among Chinese netizens. It refers to the phenomenon of corrupt officials being brought down by their mistresses and many observers have praised its use as a tool to crack down on corruption.
Recently, a number of cases of corruption have been uncovered after the mistresses of the officials concerned let the cat out of the bag, either unwittingly or deliberately, but experts warned about an official extension through the use of agents provocateur.
For Yang, curbing corruption through the use of disgruntled mistresses is an effective, but morally dubious, practice and one that should not be encouraged.
Ren from Beihang University said anti-graft activity via mistresses should be discouraged because it would be inappropriate to tackle wrongdoing, such as bribery, through questionable means.
While Yang echoed Ren's view, he argued that the exposure of corruption by disaffected mistresses has been effective. "Some women have indeed helped the government to uncover corrupt officials and that should be applauded," he said.
Disclosures of this type usually occur as a result of a dispute between the lovers, so if the relationship remains strong, the chances that corruption will be uncovered are slim. "We cannot wait for potential conflicts to occur before we can discover sexual bribery and corruption," said Ren.
According to Ren, the key to cracking down on graft and sexual bribery lies in a stringent inspection mechanism and strong support from the public, who should report corrupt officials to the relevant authorities.
For Zhu, the important thing is to stamp out graft entirely: "The damage caused by sexual bribery is as important as that caused by financial corruption and sometimes the negative effects are even greater."
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