11/23/2012, 00.00
CHINA

In addition to corruption, CPP increasingly caught up in sex scandals

After the astonishing cases of Bo Xilai and ling Jihua's son, a new sex scandal has hit the party. A top Chongqing official was removed from office for "improper sexual relations" with a young woman, this despite his denials. For now, appeals by top party bosses for "new moral cleanliness" are falling on deaf ears.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The Chinese Communist Party is once more caught up in a major sex scandal. After the cases of Bo Xilai and Ling Jihua, a district official in Chongqing, Lei Zhengfu, was removed from office on Friday after sex photos and videos of him were leaked online, the People's Daily reported on Friday following confirmation from local officials. Lei was party secretary in Chongqing's Beibei district. In Beijing Party, officials immediately ordered a formal inquiry.

This scandal broke just days after journalist Ji Xuguang posted a photo on Sina Weibo microblogging service (China's twitter), showing a naked man and woman having sex. Ji said the photo was a screen shot of a video (pictured) of a man, Lei, who was having "improper sexual relations" with a young woman friend surnamed, Zhao.

On another post on the same website, Ji also questioned Lei over whether he had ordered police to detain Zhao without charges for a month.

The journalist claimed he contacted Lei on the phone. "Lei denied knowing Zhao . . . . He said the video was fake . . . he not only denied my allegation, but also said 'we could make friends,' on the phone." Despite the attempted case of malfeasance, Ji went ahead anyway and made the affair public.

Famous across the country since September 2012 when he broke the story of the Luoyang sex slave case, in which a man kept six women as "sex slaves" in a secret basement prison in the city of Luoyang, Henan province, Ji also revealed that government officials had tried to suppress the story's release.

What is clear is that the connection between sex and politics is shaking the Communist Party at its foundations. Despite appeals by top party brass against corruption and immoral behaviour, the latest by newly elected party chief Xi Jinping, sex scandals continue.

The best known cases in recent years are those Bo Xilai, disgraced former party chief in Chongqing who allegedly had hundreds of lovers, and Ling Gu, son of Ling Jihua, a former aide to President Hu Jintao.

The young Ling crashed the Ferrari he was driving at high speed in the streets of Beijing. Police found his half-naked body, and that of two escorts who were travelling with him.

Another case goes back to 2008 when violence broke out in Guizhou province after police officially ruled the death of a 15-year-old girl a suicide.

Her family rejected the official story, insisting that she was raped, killed and then thrown into a river. Locals said that the culprit in the rape-murder was the son of a top provincial official who was protected by police.

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