FIREFLIES OF JADE - Paolo Marchetti Photographer

Dragon's Racket & Prostituition

A saying very popular in China reads as follows “it is better to do one bad thing with your boss rather than a hundred good things done for him.”

In China, going to a brothel with business partners is a sexist and machist necessary ritual, to which is really difficult to escape and decline the invitation to go to a club or a brothel after dinner is always a risk because it is the tradition that a banquet, and a large drink facilitate social interactions, until precisely at around eleven in the evening, you travel to a karaoke bar, a spa or in a nightclub.

Here clients spend two or three hours with escort paid to talk, sing and flirt then, around two or three in the morning, some collapse because too drunk while others isolate themselves with the girls.

The criminologist Diego Gambit says that this dynamic ensures that over time, you can get to a real exchange, which he calls “information hostage”, namely the mutual knowledge of the sins of others, which is the guarantee that no one will break the tacit agreement.

In China, prostitution is illegal but omnipresent, camouflaged with varying degrees of ambiguity. Sociologists Huang and Pan Suiming have established seven categories of sex workers defined them also based on the standard of living of the customers to which they are intended. Among the different categories of prostitutes, dancers of Karaoke are those frequented by businessmen.

Anthropologist John Osburg believes that the real purpose of these nights forbidden, do not consist in have a good time, but to consolidate business and personal relationships using the power of the taboos and transgressions shared. It is a way to evaluate whether the potential business partners are men of the same ilk.

Also to share and possessing the same women, it seems bring men in a perverse form of familiarity and of corse, girls are only tools of a necessary ritual aimed at men.

The China Daily estimates that between 2000 and 2010 the number of prostitutes in China had reached about 10 million. According to a report by Human Rights Watch on abuses suffered by prostitutes of 2013, the majority of sex workers have migrated from rural areas surrounding and neighboring countries when this analysis is focused on the states bordering the geographic limits of China. Foremost own Burma.

In order to tell this huge phenomenon I’ve worked in Yunnan, to the south of China. Yunnan is a largely rural region that lives on agriculture but on its border, closet o the Burma is located a very rich town, named Ruili, where more than 20 years ago the richness exploded and an hyperbolic development has occurred mainly thanks to the largest market of Jade in the world, the famous mineral coming mostly from Burma. this phenomenon generated a huge traffic of businness men who during the night have to be entertained, prostitution is the most popular way.

Regarding the Jade market in Ruili, according to data from the office of Commerce, there are more than 5000 stores and tens of thousands of workers, an industry by the annual value of about 260 million euros.?Every year, thousands of Chinese merchants and businessman buy commercial quantities of precious stone in the rough, then to work in several laboratories in the city.

In Ruili are also present other trades, a market extremely lucrative is that one regarding the marketing for human beings for example. It’s one of the most flourishing and inside many brothels there, you can find thousand of young Burmese girls in search of a better life.? It is in this city that there was the first major outbreak of AIDS (HIV) in the Middle Kingdom, and today Ruili still continues to have the highest rate of HIV across the country. Ruili is the main checkpoint where the young Burmese flock, convinced by promises of work by Chinese gangs, and persuaded to cross the border, where most often go a whoring in nightclubs and in the many massage centers in the city.

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