by Miriam Cordova
Orchids of Asia, the Florida spa where many bourgeois men were busted paying for sex last month, has come under renewed scrutiny due to former owner Li Yang’s affiliation with President Donald Trump and with the elites of US imperialism, including her selling access to Trump in Washington, DC and at his private country club.
Yang, who goes by Cindy, started the Tokyo Day Spa chain in 2007, and she and her family have owned at least six spas, a massage school, and multiple nail salons since. Orchids of Asia was her second spa, but she sold it to female pimp Hua Zhang in 2013. Customer review websites reported that after it was sold many of the same women still worked there. At least two more of her spas were opened then flipped shortly after to turn a profit.
Each of the six Tokyo Day Spas are discussed online by johns as places of prostitution, with two of them suspected of being full-fledged brothels. At one location, a female massage therapist found used condoms in the trash and heard sexual noises coming from the rooms. The same therapist reported that she was scolded by management after leaving the room when a male customer exposed himself to her, demanding oral sex. At yet another location, a man called police after a woman working there non-consensually touched him in an “inappropriate genital area”, and one online review echoed a similar experience. Additionally, one of Yang’s advertisements for recruitment had stated, “anyone over the age of 45 need not apply.”
Yang founded GY US Investments LLC in 2017 as its CEO. Before its website was taken down amidst recent controversy, it had described itself as an “international business consulting firm that provides public relations services to assist businesses in America to establish and expand their brand image in the modern Chinese marketplace.” In practice, it strengthened Chinese capitalism-imperialism through wining and dining with the US bourgeoisie, including Trump and his cabinet.
This front company had advertisements to Chinese customers that included “reception, photo and two seats for a dinner with President Trump” for a “donation” of $50,000. One customer donated to Yang’s company in hopes of posing with Trump and associates before opening his company on the New York stock exchange. Trump cancelled his appearance at said event due to the government shutdown, but the guest still managed to snag a pic with Trump’s sister after travelling 17 hours.
Yang’s online connections on social media and her membership in the Florida branch of the Council for the Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of China and the Miami chapter of the American arm of the Chinese Association of Science and Technology also tie her to the revisionist Chinese government.
Yang and her family have been active Trump supporters, donating tens of thousands to a Political Action Committee and to Trump’s campaign directly. Even though the White House denied that Trump knew her, Yang received a handwritten letter signed by Trump in September 2018 thanking her for being one of Florida’s leaders.
Trump himself is no stranger to abusing women. Over 20 women have accused him of sexual harassment, and he was recorded bragging about his sexist behavior. In an even creepier example, he has repeatedly made sexual jokes and comments about his own daughter.
While Yang has managed to dodge the pimping allegations leveled against her successors at Orchids of Asia, she is still culpable in the eyes of the people. Every spa she has owned has been known to customers as places to buy sex. Objectively, the Tokyo Day Spa chain is benefiting from the sale of women.
Selling women offers an easy foot in the door to all the luxurious frills of a bourgeois lifestyle. Imperialism makes it possible for people like Yang to use the sexual exploitation of oppressed nations women to advance their own self-interests.
Prostitution of oppressed nations women has been deeply ingrained in the history of the US since colonial times, and today prostitution thrives under imperialism.
The ease with which Yang moved from brothel owner to her role as a liaison between the US and Chinese bourgeoisie shows the class character of pimping and prostitution. The oppression of women serves the interests of the ruling class, and only an organized and militant women’s movement can lead the masses against this exploitation!