The End of Chicken Street?

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Just about one month ago, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, President of the People’s Republic of China and Chairman of the PRC’s Central Military Commission. Issued what amounted to an executive order that closed public brothels in China. 
Just about every city in the PRC had a red light district, also known locally in each city as “Chicken Street” where country girls would flock to work as prostitutes.
Westerners visiting many cities in China are frequently nearly mobbed outside of their hotels by aggressive women who ply their trade. Once in Shenzhen, I counted – yes actually counted – 400 prostitutes outside of my nice, American style hotel on the street and grounds. Based on reliable information from friends on the ground, that is no more. To everyone’s surprise, the ban on whorehouses in the Chicken Streets remain closed. 
Almost every year in September, prior to the National Day holiday celebration that begins October 1, the police round up a token number of street walkers and they begin to vanish until National Day (which takes place over about a one week period) Celebration has come to a conclusion. This isn’t the same thing. 
A friend of mine who owns a factory in China reported that the rumors are true.
  • 9 thoughts on “The End of Chicken Street?

    1. Oldest profession, and desperation drive people to do ANYTHING to eat… And that last is scary…

    2. President Xi naturally did not 'end the oldest profession' because I think that prostitute pre-dated politician — if there really is a difference. All of the brothels owned by the People's Liberation Army (in nicer hotels) still exist. He just shut down the blighted Chicken Streets, forcing all of the girls from the country to go back home and toil with their peasant parents in the fields.

    3. When the Communists make a law it is generally obeyed. They are rather harsh about that sort of thing.

    4. There is no hard cash for farmers that leads to an accumulation of capital, which is why they send their daughters to the big cities to become prostitutes. The social stigma is not so great in China as it is in the US, for example. The girls work until they are not able to attract customers anymore. During their working careers, they send money home. When they are done with the big city, they return to villages and usually marry a local boy. In China there are many more boys who survive the abortion process and so there is no problem for these soiled doves to find a mate.

    5. I'm guessing that the girls on the chicken streets mostly served the construction workers and, if they were lucky, Chinese middle class men. Am I right that the PLA brothels that are still operating serve up Mata Haris to oblivious western businessmen who think that the very hot girl at the end of the hotel bar eye-flirting with him is an independent working girl.

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