Two days ago, I saw on the TV that hundreds of prostitutes were shamed in a public parade in the neigbouring city of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. They all looked downcast and very ashamed, with heads bent down to the chest. I later learnt that in such a parade, their names and dates of birth would be announced so that the purpose of “shaming” them is well served.
This, in China, is called “a public meeting to combat and punish vice” and it is particularly popular in a city just before a high-ranking government office is due to visit. This time it was for the visit of China’s No.2 political figure Wu Bangguo to Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
The scene is reminiscent of the dark age during the Cultural Revolution where all those deemed enemies of the communist party were paraded and shamed publicly. China’s economy has progressed fast enough in the past two decades, and yet, in many aspects, the country remains the same, especially in terms of its political and social mentality.
China falls far short of a civilized country, much less a world power when it holds no respect for the rights of its people and when people themselves do not respect the rights of others. The parade of prostitutes has told it so clearly.