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Monday, 6 August, 2001, 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK
Chinese prostitute book sparks outrage
Singapore
Jiu Dan studied in Singapore in 1995
A novel which tells the story of Chinese-born students going to Singapore to make money from men is causing controversy.

Jiu Dan's Wuya, meaning Crows, recounts tales of xiaolongnu, or little dragon girls, who travel to Singapore as students but prey on rich men to gain access to the good life.

The story sees the women becoming to prostitutes, hostesses or mistresses to make money.

But critics from Singapore Chinese quarters say the novel is insulting and does not reflect real life.

Sensationalism

Kelly Zhou, a former student from Shenzhen who is now married to a Singaporean, has accused Jiu Dan of sensationalism.

She told the French news agency AFP: "China is so big. There must be more rich people in China than there are in Singapore. So why would we come here to seduce Singapore men?"

And Guangdong student Dooby Wu Li Rong insisted that China-born students would "never resort to prostitution".

Jiu Dan, who now lives in Beijing, has defended her book, saying Wuya is not autobiographical, but is based on what she saw while studying in Singapore.

She said: "They may deny it, but the dream of every Chinese woman when she boards a plane out of China is to find a way to stay overseas.

"Otherwise, why not just stay in China?"

Hostess

And her claims have been backed up by Chinese women working in the sex industry.

Nightclub hostess "Sisi", left China for Singapore to study for a diploma.

She fell into her line of work in at attempt to make money, even though her parents financially supported her education.

She said: "I want to earn as much money as possible before my student pass expires.

"I want to buy new clothes and I want to buy an apartment when I return home."

Gritty subjects

Despite the criticism Jiu Dan has vowed to continue writing about gritty subjects "in the same spirit as Wuya".

She is also hoping it will be turned into a film in either Hong Kong or China.

She added: "I was talking to some film directors in Singapore too, but they have stopped communicating with me.

"Maybe they are bowing to pressure in their country."

See also:

27 Jul 01 | Country profiles
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