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Report Cites China Prostitution

June 9, 1999 GMT

BEIJING (AP) _ One in five massage parlors across China are involved in prostitution, with the proportion even higher in large cities, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday.

In a nationwide crackdown run by the Public Security Ministry, police over six months inspected 152,000 massage parlors and found that 33,000 of them fronted for prostitution, Xinhua said.

In Beijing, police fined 6,162 of the more than 10,000 massage parlors inspected for illegal activities, while in Shanghai, nearly a third of the 3,600 businesses were closed down, the report said.

Prostitution has surged in the past decade as the communist government relaxed social controls and allowed citizens freedom to move about the countryside.