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Hong Kong Wan Chai Red Light District: A haven of peace and tranquility with nightclubs everywhere

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Post time 2024-5-29 00:58:21 | View all Read mode

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Wan Chai is the earliest development area of ​​Hong Kong Island and has one of the most famous "red light districts" in Hong Kong.

If you visit Lockhart Road in Wan Chai at night, you will see neon lights all over the street, nightclubs everywhere, and many foreigners mixed in. Talking about this situation, it is inseparable from Hong Kong's economy, law, and international relations.

Hongkong-Hong Kong Wan Chai Red Light District: A haven of peace and tranquility with nightclubs everywhere

1. The situation of the "red light district" in Wan Chai

During the daytime, the flags of countries such as Britain, Canada, and Australia flutter in the wind on Lockhart Road, and most of the bars along the road are closed.

At this time, Lockhart Road has no colorful neon lights and does not attract attention at all. Only the signboard with "Massage" written on the street and the tired woman eating in a Thai fast food restaurant hint at the unusualness of this place.

Hongkong-Hong Kong Wan Chai Red Light District: A haven of peace and tranquility with nightclubs everywhere

At night, Lockhart Road begins to become restless, and adrenaline interweaves with the intoxication of feasting and drinking.

Walking into a nightclub with tropical rainforest decoration, you can see a stage decorated with plastic banana leaves and smell alcohol and tobacco in old-school rock music. There are many Southeast Asian female faces and Western male faces.

These girls with heavy makeup are mostly petite, with dark eyes and protruding cheekbones. They can be identified as mainly from Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and Vietnam.

Hongkong-Hong Kong Wan Chai Red Light District: A haven of peace and tranquility with nightclubs everywhere

The main force of consumption is white men, who are well-dressed, wear expensive watches, and have just finished a busy day.

It must be mentioned that Hong Kong's "red light district" has a unique form of existence, that is, "one floor, one prostitute", "floor" refers to the room, and "prostitute" refers to the sex workers in the room.

Fuji Building on Lockhart Road is a hotbed of this form, with 21 of the 22 floors being "one floor, one prostitute". According to reporters, there are a variety of advertisements posted on the door of each unit on each floor of Fuji Building, and most of the patrons are office white-collar workers, both Chinese and foreign.

In Fengjie Cui'er's opinion, it is very easy to make a living in Fuji Building. The monthly rent she has to pay is 9,000 yuan, and she can earn 40,000 to 50,000 yuan a month.

Hongkong-Hong Kong Wan Chai Red Light District: A haven of peace and tranquility with nightclubs everywhere

Cui'er said: "The charges here are higher than other places. The basic service fee of Fuji Building is 500 yuan, and the price of additional services such as wearing uniforms and massage can be 100 or 200 yuan higher.

In Sham Shui Po and Yau Ma Tei, only 300 yuan can be charged at a time, and the quality of the customers here is really high! There are very few uncles and three-line men (referring to coolies). Our sisters in Fuji Building have always been of high quality!"

2. The existence of Wan Chai's "red light district" from an economic perspective

Hongkong-Hong Kong Wan Chai Red Light District: A haven of peace and tranquility with nightclubs everywhere

When it comes to the factors that determine the existence of the "red light district", the first thing to recommend is the economic system. The "red light district" has long existed in China and has played a significant role in promoting the ancient economy. For example, the Qinhuai River in Nanjing and the Eight Great Hutongs in Beijing are both places of entertainment and places of prosperity for the commodity economy.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, the government took drastic measures to ban the sex industry and clear the "red light district". This was a choice made under the background of implementing a planned economy and allocating resources by the government.

After all, the sex industry is a product of free trade, that is, the exchange between money resources and sexual resources. Without the market economy, it is like water without a source and a tree without roots.

Hongkong-Hong Kong Wan Chai Red Light District: A haven of peace and tranquility with nightclubs everywhere

Hong Kong is different. Influenced by capitalism, her business soul is highly mature. On the basis of a free port, Hong Kong has formed the key feature of Hong Kong's economy - a free market economy, which improves the efficiency of capital allocation through supply and demand mechanisms, competition mechanisms, and price mechanisms.

Hong Kong returned to the motherland in 1997, but China implemented the "one country, two systems" policy, granting Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy, and still using the capitalist market economy as its economic system.

Sex is an animal instinct. As a higher animal, it is normal for humans to have physiological needs. As it happens, Wan Chai has a world trade center and a shopping center, and the commodity economy is highly prosperous and the market mechanism is becoming more perfect.

Under the regulation of the "invisible hand" of the market, where there is demand there is supply, where there is profit there is capital injection, and where there is demand there is no interruption, the market will not be extinguished.

Hongkong-Hong Kong Wan Chai Red Light District: A haven of peace and tranquility with nightclubs everywhere

The "red light district" in Wan Chai came into being on this basis and has remained standing.

Sexual services belong to a high-risk gray area, and compared with most ordinary industries, they can create high profits.

In the academic world of economics, Lina Edlund and Evelyn Cohen conducted in-depth research on the puzzle of "sex work has low technical content, is a labor-intensive industry, and most of the practitioners are women, but the salary is generous."

In an article titled "Prostitution Theory", they used the "marriage market theory" theory and logically drew a conclusion: sex workers must earn higher income than other jobs, only in this way can they make up for the opportunity cost of giving up the income in the marriage market.

High incomes have attracted a group of girls who have nothing to offer. For example, Suzhou Fengjie Cui'er in Fuji Building can earn 40,000 to 50,000 yuan a month, and after paying the rent, she still has 30,000 to 40,000 yuan left. Compared with doing manual labor in her hometown, it is much easier to make money.

Hongkong-Hong Kong Wan Chai Red Light District: A haven of peace and tranquility with nightclubs everywhere

Another example is Filipino girls. The average monthly income in their motherland is only about 1,800 Hong Kong dollars, but in the "red light district" of Wan Chai, they can earn 1,200-2,000 Hong Kong dollars a night, which is equivalent to a month's salary in their motherland.

It is worth mentioning that most inland girls and Southeast Asian girls did not come to Hong Kong for sexual services, but after coming from their hometowns to Hong Kong, where every inch of land is worth a lot of money, they have no skills and suffer from the cruel reality of high rents, so they have no choice but to choose the fastest way to make money.

For the "red light district", in addition to the social and economic system, the social and economic order is equally important, and the latter can influence the situation of the "red light district" to a certain extent.

If the social order is stable, the market operates healthily, and upward mobility is smooth, it will open up a good space for the development of the "red light district";

If the unemployment rate remains high for a long time, the cost of living increases sharply, and the social class solidifies, it will bring many aspects of chaos to the "red light district", such as the younger age of sex workers in Japan in recent years.

3. The form of Wan Chai's "red light district" from a legal perspective

Hongkong-Hong Kong Wan Chai Red Light District: A haven of peace and tranquility with nightclubs everywhere

In the 1930s, Hong Kong issued a "prostitution ban" to force prostitutes to stop business in two stages. However, Hong Kong's "red light district" has not completely disappeared, because Hong Kong law has reserved space for sex work.

According to Section 117 of the Criminal Offences Ordinance, Chapter 200 of the Laws of Hong Kong, premises, vessels or places can only be defined as "sexual service venues" in two cases.

One is "the premises, vessel or place is used entirely or mainly for prostitution by two or more persons." The second is "the premises, vessel or place is used entirely or mainly for organizing or arranging prostitution, or is used in connection with organizing or arranging prostitution."
Therefore, if there is only one person engaging in prostitution in a place, then this place cannot be regarded as a "place of prostitution", and naturally it does not violate the law.

The "one floor, one prostitute" form of Hong Kong's "red light district" today has developed in this context.

Lawyer Liang Yonghang stated in an interview: "Prostitutes who operate "one floor, one prostitute" are not breaking the law, even if there are clear money transactions."
Lawyer Huang Guotong also said that there is no problem with sexual services involving money transactions, only those who actively ask for prices and quotes are breaking the law, because this is considered "inciting others to engage in immoral behavior." Most of those arrested in Hong Kong's anti-pornography operations are pimps or two-way permit holders.

In Lockhart Road in Wan Chai, nightclubs are lined up and buildings are built side by side, dividing a large number of room units to accommodate larger-scale "one floor, one prostitute". After the "prostitution ban" was issued, a large number of sex workers moved to Wan Chai and continued to provide sexual services in the form of "one prostitute per floor". Over time, the well-known Wan Chai "red light district" was formed.

Hongkong-Hong Kong Wan Chai Red Light District: A haven of peace and tranquility with nightclubs everywhere

4. The composition of Wan Chai's "red light district" from the perspective of international relations

On Lockhart Road, bar security guards with South Asian faces, sex workers with East Asian and Southeast Asian faces, and main consumers with Western faces together constitute Wan Chai's "red light district".

This diverse ecology can be traced back to the British occupation of Hong Kong Island in 1841. Britain and the Qing government successively signed the unequal "Nanjing Treaty", "Beijing Treaty", and "Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory", gradually occupying Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories, bringing capitalism to Hong Kong and letting it take root in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has become a colony of an old capitalist country, with a large number of white people pouring in, embarking on a different path from inland China.

In 1932, Britain ordered all its territories to implement a policy of banning prostitution. Against this background, Hong Kong issued the "prostitution ban".

However, under the influence of nearly a hundred years, Western values ​​have profoundly influenced the economic model and legal system of Hong Kong people.

After the Enlightenment, Westerners generally advocated natural human rights and the spirit of contract, and abandoned deception and coercion. Sexual transactions based on legal and voluntary basis not only respected the human rights desire of freedom and democracy, but also conformed to the contractual spirit of the market economy, and there was nothing wrong with it.

Hongkong-Hong Kong Wan Chai Red Light District: A haven of peace and tranquility with nightclubs everywhere

Therefore, Hong Kong law has reserved space for sexual transactions. Britain's anti-prostitution policy actually pushed the model of Hong Kong's "red light district" to "one floor, one prostitute".

In 1955, the Vietnam War was about to break out, involving the United States, the Soviet Union, China and other countries. It was a large-scale local war in Southeast Asia. The US base camp was far away across the ocean, so the US military decided to stop the warships in Wan Chai during the war.

The US military had a large number of soldiers and was young and strong. This decision strongly promoted the sex trade in Wan Chai. After Vietnam was unified in 1975, a large number of Vietnamese refugees came to Hong Kong by boat. Data shows that in 1979, a total of about 20,000 Vietnamese refugees worked in Hong Kong.

This has led to the current "red-light district" in Wan Chai, where many sex workers are of Southeast Asian ethnicity.

In the 1970s, Governor Murray MacLehose of Hong Kong decided to implement an open-door policy. On the one hand, MacLehose opened up to the Chinese mainland and personally visited Beijing to promote economic and cultural exchanges between the mainland and Hong Kong.

On the other hand, he opened up to the international community, removed foreign exchange controls and gold trading controls, and attracted foreign investment to Hong Kong to invest in the financial industry and industry.

Hongkong-Hong Kong Wan Chai Red Light District: A haven of peace and tranquility with nightclubs everywhere

Today, Hong Kong has achieved free trade, financial freedom, and free entry and exit of personnel, and faces the world with a more open and inclusive attitude. There are no tariff barriers and non-tariff barriers, nor national treatment and non-national treatment.

The door to the outside world is opening wider and wider, allowing Hong Kong to gradually grow into the world's largest and most open free port. As an international financial center, international trade center and international innovation and technology center, it stands tall in the East.

The last fuel was the diplomatic achievements of New China. my country is committed to promoting coordination and cooperation with major powers and striving to deepen friendly cooperation with developing countries. At present, 180 countries have established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.

With the improvement of comprehensive national strength, my country plays an increasingly important role in the international community and is steadily moving towards the center of the world stage.

After the return of Hong Kong, as a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China, it naturally enjoys good international relations.

Hong Kong, with its high income and good international relations, is incredibly attractive to the world. People from all countries and nationalities want to do business, work and live in Hong Kong, so Hong Kong has become an international metropolis that accommodates people from all corners of the world.

According to the Hong Kong census, the area with the most people of different ethnic groups is Wan Chai District. In this way, it is not surprising that the Wan Chai "red light district" has a diverse population composition.

Entering the Wan Chai "red light district" in Hong Kong, we not only see neon lights all over the "gentle land", but also can see more deeply: in the process of the formation and development of the Wan Chai "red light district", factors such as economy, law, and international relations constitute an organic whole, which influence and depend on each other, and the lack of any one factor will lead to imbalance.


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