Behind Every Corrupt Chinese Official Is A Woman Who's Not His Wife

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As a recent wave of corruption has been denounced in China, we have heard of the important role played by bloggers and a progressively more open press.But there’s another segment of society that has been absolutely crucial in busting bad politicians: their mistresses. And yes, it seems, they all have one — and sometimes, many more.

Most recently, Lei Zhengfu, a Chinese Communist Party official from Chongqing lost his post after a journalist uploaded a video of him and his much younger lover having sex.

Having at least one “ernai“, a Chinese way of calling a mistress, the “second wife,”, has become a must among Chinese officials. “A man without a mistress is useless. A man with two or three mistresses is a VIP. A man with five or six lovers is an animal,” sums up the current view on the topic, the Central News Agency reported. 

Of course, having an extra-marital relationship is a wildcard for any public figure. When giving discipline courses to Communist party cadres, a Guangdong official from the Central Discipline Inspection Commission drew attention to the “woman issue” of Chinese officials by using the example of Xu Qiyao, the former Director of the Construction Department of Jiangsu Province.

He kept 140 mistresses and used to boast that among them were a mother and her daughter. He bragged about this as “killing two birds with one stone.”

The Global Times added that the mistresses often become officials’ own personal time bombs because of jealousy when the official has drifted off to another lover, or because their demands haven’t been satisfied. The newspaper pointed out that China’s corruption-curbing campaign has had some “interim progress” in recent years, but the problem is “like a seriously ill elderly person. He takes a lot of pain-relieving shots and anti-inflammatory drugs to ease the mental stress. Nevertheless, the real root cause is never cured.”  

As for the leading role that the second ladies have in all of this, opinion is mixed. “Though the downfall of corrupt officials is welcome, it is nonetheless vexing that it’s their mistresses who have acquired this role,” the Global Times writes.

According to official statistics from Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai, among the investigated officials alleged of taking bribes, nearly 100% of them have at least one mistress. “This means that in Chinese officialdom their mistresses have formed a mighty team of anti-corruption busters,” the Global Times wrote, quoting the Gongshi Net, a Chinese website for China’s pro-reform movement. 

This story was originally published by WorldCrunch.

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