Anthony Weiner couldn't stop “sexting” even after the initial "Weinergate" scandal that forced him to resign from Congress, and now his run for mayor of New York City in serious danger. But he is no match for an official in China, who managed to acquire 140 mistresses (vs. Weiner's zero, in fact -- as far as we know, the sexting never led to actual encounters).
Last week, the Chinese-language local newspaper Qingdao Financial Daily reported that Xu Qiyao, an official from the central-coast Jiangsu province, is the likely uncontested winner of the title of Most Unfaithful Politician after authorities revealed he had been with at least 140 women, including a mother and daughter. The report revealed that the former director of the Jiangsu provincial construction department boasted about all the women he had slept with to his friends while drinking, even comparing the sexual abilities of mother vs. daughter.
Though Xu’s case is an extreme example, cheating is not an uncommon story among Chinese politicians. Most recently, a 26-year-old woman named Ji Yingnan found out that she was a mistress when she discovered her fiancé, Fan Yue, the deputy director at the State Administration of Archives, was married and had a teenage son the entire time that they were together. Since her discovery, Ji has been determined to reveal not only Fan’s moral failings but also somthing that's more of a concern to the Communist Party: his financial corruption. Ji released hundreds of photos online of luxury cars, shopping sprees at designer stores, and cash that were all given to her by the official, who, according to the books, typically would have a modest salary.
Mistresses, while obviously not the gold standard of morality, have been instrumental in revealing corrupt behavior within the Communist Party. In late June, former Communist Party official Lei Zhengfu, who was part of a sex scandal that included a disturbingly graphic video, was sentenced to 13 years for corruption. The mistress featured in the sex tape was reportedly hired by local real estate developers who were angry with Lei and hoping to extort him.
According to Wu Changchen, a professor who worked on amending China’s marriage laws, there is a correlation between extramarital affairs and political corruption. Wu estimates that around 95 percent of officials investigated for corruption have also been found to have maintained relationships with women who were not their wives.
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In terms of numbers, however, Zhang Erjiang, the former party secretary of the city of Tianmen in central Hubei province, was a close second to Xu. According to the Taiwan-based publication Want China Times, he had sexual relations with 106 women who were not his wife between 1989 and 2001.