China Tells Officials: Avoid Sex Scandals, Corruption
The Xinhua news agency has published an editorial urging Chinese government officials to avoid sex scandals and be "superheroes" when it comes to fighting corruption.
Xinhua is the official news agency of the government and the editorial would not be published without official approval.
The editorial says: "As an ancient Chinese saying goes, few heroes can resist the lure of beauty. In this sense, Communist officials should demonstrate strength as superheroes in their fight against corruption."
The editorial comes amid a huge push by China's new leadership to quell public discontent over corruption scandals.
The new President Xi Jinping, who replaces outgoing Hu Jintao, announced late last year that one of the top priorities of the new government will be to stop graft at all levels.
Just this week he followed up with a speech at a three-day meeting held by the Central Commission for Discipline. They've promised to crack down on bribery and will begin investigating the value of government officials' personal assets.
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There have been numerous incidents in recent months raising the specter of corruption. Just last week it says the head of Translation Bureau of the Communist Party's Central Committee was let go from his post for "an improper lifestyle."
Apparently this improper lifestyle came to light after his alleged mistress posted an on-line, 100,000 character tell-all about their affair.
But gaining international attention — the case of Lei Zhengfu, the party boss of Chongqing's Beibei District, who was caught on tape with an 18-year-old mistress. Extremely explicit screen grabs from the tape were widely circulated on the Internet.
The woman in the photos is alleged to have been a plant by a company that wanted to blackmail Lei.
The editorial goes on to cite a study done by a Chinese university, that found 95 percent of officials who are under investigation have mistresses.
It openly worries that successive scandals "may erode the public's confidence in officials" and also leave people questioning women's promotions, lest they think they got them for the wrong reasons.
—By CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera; Follow her on Twitter @MCaruso_Cabrera