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China vows crackdown on strippers at funerals

A dancer performs during a temple festival in northern Taiwan/AFP

A dancer performs during a temple festival in northern Taiwan/AFP

Beijing, Apr 23 – Chinese authorities on Thursday bared the details of their latest anti-vice sweep: a campaign to halt the hiring of strippers at funerals

In a statement posted on its website, China’s Ministry of Culture pledged a “crackdown” on the practice, which it said has become increasingly common in rural areas.

“From time to time, ‘stripteases’ and other illegal performances have occurred in the countryside,” the statement said, adding that authorities will “promptly investigate and punish” businesses and individuals involved in the risque shows.

China’s official Xinhua news agency said such performances are typically organised in order to draw a larger crowd at last rites.

One example cited by the Ministry of Culture was a funeral in north China’s Hebei province.

“Two strippers wearing revealing clothes danced on a stage at a public square in our village at night on February 15,” an eyewitness surnamed Zhang told the state-run Global Times newspaper earlier this month.

“They first danced passionately and then took off their clothes piece by piece,” the man said. “Behind them, an electronic screen was displaying a picture of the deceased with elegiac couplets on either side.”

In another case later that month, a troupe in east China’s Jiangsu province was detained for funeral performances that drew crowds of as many as 500 local residents, according to provincial news site xichu.net.

The troupe engaged in “erotic performances on the stage with sexual organs exposed and imitating sexual acts,” police officer Tang Jinyang told the news site.

Such shows “disrupt the order of the rural cultural market and corrupt the social atmosphere,” China’s Ministry of Culture said.

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