Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Xiyi-ze, Say It Ain’t So, Bo!

I’ve tried to avoid blogging about the Bo Xilai (the senior ranking Chinese government official from Chongqing) affair since it broke early this year. It’s the biggest, juiciest scandal to come out of the Chinese Communist Party for a couple of decades, so the China-related news media has been all over the story like oyster sauce on choi sum vegetables. My thinking has been that there is little for me as a blogger to do than to sit back wearing a raincoat with a large tub of popcorn in hand and watch the seedy story unfold. No doubt, the forthcoming book/movie combo will reaffirm that fact often trumps fiction when it comes to telling incredulous stories.

However, the latest twist involving China’s first lady of film - Zhang Xiyi of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and numerous other critically acclaimed films - is too juicy and jaw-dropping to sit silently by.  For those who have missed the really relevant news over the past two weeks by burying their heads in such trivial matters as the Euro debt crisis, potential for double-dip recessions and the gyrations of the world’s markets, Zhang Xiyi has sued for libel two Hong Kong newspapers – Apple Daily and Next Magazine – for earlier reporting that she had prostituted herself with Bo Xilai and a select number of senior tycoons over the past ten years. She has since been prohibited by the Chinese government from traveling abroad pending further investigation. As such, she missed attending this year’s Cannes Film Festival and peddling her aptly named next movie Dangerous Liaisons.

So far, this is simply a rumor, and it is unsubstantiated. It’s certainly a fair question to ask why a figure as successful as Zhang Xiyi would be motivated to sell her body for sex. Some have speculated that she may be the victim of a grand scheme by the Chinese government to vilify all its enemies in this year of power transition. Zhang Xiyi has rubbed some officials the wrong way (not literally, presumably), and she may be part of the housecleaning sweep related to Bo Xilai.

But the rumor is a staggering one. Zhang Xiyi has been called the most beautiful Chinese woman of them all. Her face and Gong Li’s are certainly the best known worldwide. So, if she were in fact trading herself for cash and other favors, you can bet that she certainly did not do so cheaply. On the contrary, Apple Daily has reported that she charged in excess of US$1 million per “encounter”, earning over $110 million during that ten year period. That averages out to roughly 10 sessions per year of such tax-free employment. Didn’t Dire Straits sing a song about something like this in their heyday? In any event, that implies some serious money shelled out by some seriously horny cadres for the privilege of her company.

What will the next turn of events in this breathtaking story reveal? That Bo Xilai sleeps with an Arnold Schwarznegger blow-up doll and cross-dresses to make himself appealing in Lady Gaga’s presence? Don’t bet against it!

No comments:

Post a Comment