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CHINA - Feb 10, 2004

Li Ning, 33, the owner of Zhengqi Bar in Nanjing, has been brought to trial for hiring the services of male prostitutes to serve his customers. Li was previously a shareholder of Hongdu Bar which was closed by authorities in 1999 for hosting "erotic" shows.

The People's Court of Qinhuai District in Jiangsu province's found that Li began recruiting young men aged 18 and 19 via leaflets and newspaper ads to boost customers at his bar in January 2003. The court found that Li was able to make more than Y0,000 (US,200) in the eight months his service operated.

Li was arrested in August, 2003, but was originally released because police could not decide whether existings laws applied to organizers of homosexual prostitution.

In October, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress ruled that all mercenary sex acts, whether between homosexuals or heterosexuals, were against the law.

In July 2003, Wang Zhiming, another organizer of male prostitution, was given a three year prison sentence and fined Y,000 by a Shanghai court.



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