Xi Jinping, the new Chinese Communist Party General Secretary, warned: “Corruption could kill the party and ruin the country.” A cruelly ironic time for such a statement, since sex tapes of Lei Zhengfu, the Communist Party Secretary of Chongqing’s Beibei district, have recently been released to the Chinese public.
While scandal is not a new concept for Chinese officials, social media has brought a whole new level of shame to the art of corruption in Chinese politics. Lei was removed from his position after he was found to be the “balding, bug-eyes, body-built-by-banquets star” of a sex tape that circulated widely online last week. The 36-second video is allegedly “unforgettable,” and depicts a naked Lei with his 18-year-old mistress.
The sex tape, which appears to be filmed from the top of a bedside table, was allegedly shot five years ago, but but surfaced last week. Lei, in his 50s, was immediately fired from his position in the Chinese Communist party. The 18-year-old woman in the film was reportedly hired to sleep with the city official.
The city of Chongqing is already reeling from the scandal involving their former leader Bo Xilai. Bo’s reign has been depicted by prosecutors to be “rife with cover-ups, abuse of power, and corruption.” Bo’s wife was convicted of murdering a British businessman, and Bo faces allegations of corruption and obstruction of justice in the murder case.
Scandal involving the new leader may still be growing, since the former journalist who released the tape has alleged that there are more to come.
The screenshots were uploaded onto the Chinese Internet on November 20 by Beiking-based former journalist Zhu Ruifeng. Zhu uploaded the video onto his Hong Kong registered website, an “independent online clearing house for corruption allegations.”
The vividly lurid images were apparently taken in secret, but went viral soon after their release. Reportedly, the woman in the video was hired to sleep with Lei in return for construction contracts. The construction company later tried to use the tape to extort more business from Lei, Zhu said.