Beijing: China's anti-corruption campaign turned out to be an "embarrassing development" as about 95 per cent of officials being probed have mistresses, highlighting how a raft of bureaucrats traded power for sex and money, an official media report said on Thursday.
A recent report by Renmin University of China said about 95 per cent of officials being investigated have mistresses, state-run Xinhua news agency commentary titled "China feels women's weight in fight against graft", said.
"As an ancient Chinese saying goes, few heroes can resist the lure of beauty. In this sense, communist officials should demonstrate their strength as superheroes in their fight against corruption," the commentary said in a rare criticism following a host of scandals highlighted in recent months.
Last week, Yi Junqing, director of the central compilation and translation bureau, a leading think tank of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) was removed from his post after a lengthy online essay posted by his alleged mistress, Chang Yan.
The woman's account made Yi the highest-ranking official sacked for "nothing more than a sex scandal", it said, ethical failings leave officials susceptible to blackmail and other devious deals, as evidenced by the recently exposed scandal over vices including sex, the commentary said.
Another official Lei Zhengfu would have been off the radar of most Chinese people if he had never starred in a sex video. The former district official in the city of Chongqing was sacked after a racy clip circulated widely online.
Follow-up reports showed he was set up by a woman under a local company's instigation.
The company used such videos to threaten officials for illegal purposes, it said.
"Bribers are taking advantage of such officials' soft ribs — as in the case of Lei, women may serve as political brokers or bait" and the successive sex scandals may erode the public's confidence in officials and even result in rumours or bias against women's professional rise, it said.
These cases demonstrate what a challenge China's leaders are facing when they push forward an image-building campaign for the ruling party and try to win the people's trust, the commentary said referring to anti-corruption campaign undertaken by new CPC leader Xi Jinping.