Make seeking sexual favor a crime

Updated: 2014-09-02 08:38

(China Daily)

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A woman surnamed Fu offered sexual services to a government official surnamed Zhang to get a construction contract passed. After Zhang went back on his promise, she tried to blackmail him by threatening to make public the photographs she had secretly taken of the two together. But Zhang reported the matter to police, and Fu was found guilty of blackmailing and put behind bars while Zhang got away almost without punishment. To ensure that corrupt officials like Zhang are brought to justice, bribery in the form of sexual services should be written into the law as a crime, says an article in Yangtze Evening News. Excerpts:

Fu offered sexual services to Zhang as a bribe to get a government construction contract. But when Zhang refused to keep his word, Fu demanded that he pay her 400,000 yuan ($64,949) or else she would expose his misdeed by making public the photographs of the two together. In the end, she only got herself in jail, while Zhang was let off easily.

That Zhang escaped proper punishment for his deed will be an encouragement for other government officials to indulge in similar and other forms of bribery. Since the law to fight corruption in China doesn't clearly stipulate that accepting sexual services as a bribe is a form of corruption, people and the judiciary will continue to view it as a minor offense, more to do with morality than the law of the land. That's why Zhang was let off easily, perhaps only with a warning not to indulge in such behavior in the future.

Even though Zhang did not grant the construction contract to Fu and thus avoided violating the rules, the very fact that he used his position to get sexual services on the promise of doing something illegal should be a good enough reason to prosecute him. Therefore, sexual services as a form of bribery should be made a crime to deter officials from taking advantage of the loopholes in the law.