Chinese Communist Party officials will be forced to make known their extramarital indiscretions after a very public break-up between one disgruntled mistress and her CCP-employed ex-lover.
Ex-beauty queen Da Beini has been described as “the richest mistress in Shanghai”, a reputation secured by her attempt to sell the many gifts bequested by her former lover on an online auction site. Items up for grabs include designer clothing and handbags, a luxury Lexus, a villa in Chongqing and apartments in Shanghai. In retaliation, her ex-lover Li Shouzhong is taking legal action against his former mistress for alleged non-payment of a loan of just under RMB 800,000. The entrepeneurial mistress has since then repudiated the claims, saying that all goods were purchased with her own money.
Regardless, the controversy is the latest in a series of incidents indicating that the imperialistic custom of keeping concubines, or gui fei, has experienced a brazen revival. According to the Sunday Times, government officials are concerned with the rising incidence of fraud and corrupt practices committed by desperate men trying to maintain multiple mistresses — so much so that a formal registration system has been established.
With the advent of economic modernization and capitalistic values in China, an undercurrent of sexual liberation and material decadence has also emerged, resulting in the return of the concubine and increase in extramarital infidelities.
According to private investigator Wei Wujun, there is indeed a “mistress boom” in China:
China’s spiritual vacuum is the problem. Before economic reform began, everyone was poor and relied on the richness of Maoist ideology. Deng Xiaoping overturned Maoism with economic reforms, but he lacked an ideology. What has come to fill the vacuum has been the worship of materialism – people in power and those with money are never satisfied. They need more power, more money, and with it more sex to satisfy their unquenchable desires. All of a sudden, some men find themselves rich and feel they must be surrounded by beautiful women otherwise they’re missing something. It’s a prestige thing. Go into any large Chinese company, private or state-owned, and look at the top executives. Almost all of them have several beautiful women at their beckoning. This is very unhealthy and quite often it hurts the wives.