Opinion / Opinion Line

Officials trading power for sex land in blackmail trap, face punishment

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-30 08:04

A case in Hengyang, Central China's Hunan province, has attracted public attention because the suspects used women to seduce officials and then took sex videos to blackmail them. Fifty-five local officials from four provinces are involved in the scandal, and most of them belong to the section level, the lowest in the bureaucratic order. Comments:

The case offers food for thought if analyzed together with those in which officials used public funds to buy sex or sexually assaulted young women and threatened them with dire consequences if they opened their mouth. It seems some officials are always eager to trade power for illegal or immoral sex. So the solution to the problem lies in punishing both the offending officials and blackmailers, as well as strengthening disciplinary regulation to prevent officials from trading power for personal favors.

Beijing News, Sept 29

The blackmailers targeted section-level officials because most of them wield some power that can bring benefits to the women and their accomplices. Besides, the officials could not call police for fear of being exposed. That's why as many as 55 officials were involved in the scandal.

Chengdu Business, Sept 29

The case first came to light in February 2014, and six of the officials were exposed for having sexual relations with the women. Yet all six of them were let off after being warned. What they did was against government discipline, so why did the local authorities let them off lightly? Had the investigation been conducted thoroughly, the case would not have involved so many officials.

ibtimes.com.cn, Sept 29

Reports say some of the officials had paid the blackmailers as much as 200,000 yuan ($31,600). Where did they get that much money? As officials, they didn't have any legal extra earnings. So were they involved in corruption or did they embezzle public funds? The local anti-graft watchdogs should thoroughly investigate the case to find out whether the officials also committed other illegal acts.

Prosecutorial Daily, Sept 29

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