Chinese police have launched a nationwide aggressive campaign against prostitution that will last until the 60th anniversary of communist rule on October 1, 2009, state press have reported.
The campaign will target providers of paid sex services at night clubs, bathhouses, barber shops and hotels, and will seek to crack down on those that force women into prostitution, the Global Times reported.
"From now until the end of September we must embark on a special nationwide campaign to strike at the criminal activities of organising and forcing women into prostitution," Xinhua news agency quoted Vice Minister of Police Zhang Xinfeng as saying.
"We must resolutely contain the growing momentum of these criminal activities."
China often launches campaigns against crime ahead of major events, such as before last year's Beijing Olympic Games.
The campaign comes after a waitress was convicted this month of using "excessive force" when she stabbed to death a local government official who tried to force her into having sex at a bathhouse in central China's Hubei province in May.
Although convicted of the killing, the girl was not sentenced to prison time and was released amid a public uproar over the brash and corrupt lifestyles of Chinese officials.
In recent years, Chinese police have cracked up to 140,000 cases of prostitution a year, annually arresting about 250,000 sex industry workers, Xinhua said.
"But no matter how you strike at prostitution it cannot be defeated, especially recently organised and forced prostitution that has become increasingly common," the Xinhua report said.
"This issue has seriously created a bad social image, harmed public order and become an issue that has drawn widespread attention among the public."