Farewell my concubine

In China, corrupt officials are being forced to quit their illicit affairs

Published November 22, 2005 3:07PM (EST)

The Los Angeles Times today has a fascinating article about corrupt Chinese officials who keep mistresses on the side.

Although salaries for public officials in China are modest, many men in power are collecting loads of extra money through bribes. They then use their extra income to support one, two or many, many mistresses. These mistresses often live in so-called "concubine villages," where they are kept in comfort and seclusion, waiting for their "masters."

The Chinese government, worried that such philandering might have negative effects on the Chinese economy and the Communist Party, is starting to crack down. "Not long ago," notes the Times, "Beijing amended the country's marriage law to make men who indulge in mistresses pay heavy penalties and to give their spouses greater rights in separations." In other parts of China, men who have affairs risk expulsion from the Communist Party.

By Hillary Frey

Hillary Frey is the Books editor at Salon.

MORE FROM Hillary Frey

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Broadsheet China Love And Sex Sex