In China, prostitutes are more trustworthy than politicians.
This is according to results of an online survey published by Insight China magazine.
The survey found 7.9 percent of respondents thought hookers were trustworthy, behind farmers and religious workers. Soldiers came fourth.
"A list like this is at the same time surprising and embarrassing," said an editorial in an English state-run newspaper. "The sex workers' unexpected prominence on this list of honour... is indeed unusual."
The poll results, which surveyed 3,376 people in June and July, showed politicians were further down on the list, near scientists and teachers.
"At least [the scientists and officials] have not slid into the least credible category which consists of real estate developers, secretaries, agents, entertainers and directors," the editorial added.
The magazine listed four reasons why government credibility was low -- protectionism, unstable policies, dumb decisions and lack of transparency.
What's interesting is that the newspaper contends it's the fault of local governments who, despite being at the grassroots level, are not listening to people's concerns and needs.
However, the magazine's observations also apply to the central government. There have been many instances where Beijing has been opaque (Rio Tinto, Xinjiang riots), made silly decisions (Green Dam), unstable policies (constantly tweaking the markets), and protectionism (creating uneven playing grounds for foreign companies).
What's also shocking is the low regard for scientists, whom we depend on for accurate statistics, innovative research and expert opinion. The other is for teachers, as millions of parents expect teachers to arm their children with knowledge that they need.
So much for the Confucian high regard for teachers.
If prostitutes are viewed so highly on the list, one wonders if most of those surveyed were men...