By RONG REN
BEIJING (China Daily Show) – Just weeks before a key Chinese leadership meeting, explosive allegations been leveled against a senior politician, claiming he treated female underlings with “respect and dignity.”
Zhejiang deputy undersecretary Ding Hong, 57, had been widely tipped as an up-and-coming Communist Party “young blood,” whose expected promotion could help the Party reconnect with the country’s millions of millenials. But many fear the accusations could make Ding lose face among the vital 56-64 year-old Politburo youth vote.
The scandal began on Friday, after a former intern of Ding’s posted a series of anonymous blogs describing the top cadre as “pleasant,” “uxorious” and concerned about issues such as maternity leave and equal rights.
Within days, more women broke their silence to describe Ding as a charming family man who favored creating greater opportunities for underprivileged rural women. Ding’s fate appeared to be sealed after a story emerged that he’d once left a vital high-level KTV summit early, to return home to his wife and newborn daughter.
“What kind of man is this, who leaves his brothers at 3am, just as meeting is getting started? Such a dog is not fit to run a 24-hour sauna, let alone a government department,” was one of the top-rated comments on Weibo, China’s equivalent of MySpace.
“If it is proved that Ding has not been leering at waitresses, and constantly attempting to molest his secretary, few of us will have any choice but to anonymously denounce him,” one senior official admitted to China Daily Show.
The allegations are particularly sensitive, as the government is preparing for its five-yearly Party Congress in late October, at which President Xi Jinping is expected to be awarded the title of China’s greatest footballer – a position previously only held by Carlos Teves. The congress has sent jitters through China’s bureaucracy, with heightened security in Beijing and other major cities, and thousands of grandmothers deployed to maintain order.
“Ding has let the members down,” said one Party scholar. “Everyone knows you treat the staff like shit, especially the women. To behave otherwise could bring serious instability to the system.”
“The rules are strictly opaque about this,” said another. “I’m shocked to hear that a certain official may not have adhered to the dictum that women must give up half the pie.”