Wan Wuyi, a man with mysteriously crippling back problems
It’s a problem that never troubled Kim Philby but if it had, it would perhaps have saved MI-5 a lot of embarrassment. Online rumors circulating yesterday claimed that Wan Wuyi, the 58-year-old head of domestic news at Xinhua, may have switched teams after going AWOL following a training course at Oxford University. But Wan has apparently surfaced to refute this, saying he’s actually holed up in London with a bad back.
“This is totally wrong. It is a rumour,” Hei Dalong, the Xinhua bureau chief in London told the Telegraph earlier this week. “Mr Wan is at my home. He has been ill for 50 days”.
Clearly he’s pretty ill, then.
Wan’s case wasn’t helped by the Sydney Morning Herald which reported “Mr Wan’s wife is said to have emigrated to Britain already”.
According to today’s Global Times, though, the story can be traced back to mirrorbooks.com, who “quoted an unnamed retired senior editor at Xinhua in Beijing as saying, “Wan has decided to stay in Britain and join his wife.””
The paper spoke to “Mandy O’Sullivan, the secretary of the Spinal Unit at St. Luke’s Hospital, who confirmed… they do have a patient named Wan Wuyi”.
The rumour was likely fueled by an earlier announcement of a state crackdown on so-called “naked officials” corrupt cadres who stash their loot overseas, move their families abroad and then join them permanently.