The identity of a teenage 'honeytrap' who secretly filmed a sexual encounter with a top Chinese Communist Party official in the south-central city of Chongqing in 2007 has been revealed.
The Daily Mailreports that the young woman who brought down District Party Chief Lei Zhengfu has been identified as 18-year-old Zhao Hongxia, a prostitute-turned nurse who was allegedly hired by rich developers to entrap and disgrace the party bigwig.
Lei was fired from his powerful post after a sex tape of the encounter went viral earlier this month. Initial reports said Zhao was Lei's mistress, but it was later revealed that she was a teenage prostitute hired by a construction company to extort favorable contracts from him.
Zhao, who is now a 23-year-old nurse, claimed that she was paid 50,000 yuan ($8,000) to sleep with Lei. She claims to have spent the money on her father's medical bills.
"[The developer] was straightforward, asking me if I wanted to be a prostitute serving some government officials that he had a business relationship with," Zhao is quoted in the Daily Telegraph.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Lei informed former Chongqing Communist Party chief and Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai of the incident in 2009. Bo, once a rising star in the Communist Party, was himself disgraced as a result of a scandal in which Chongqing Vice Mayor Wang Lijun revealed details of British businessman Neil Heywood's murder and consequent cover-up. Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, was convicted of Heywood's murder and given a suspended death sentence.
Zhao is threatening to reveal more dirty deeds committed by Chinese officials.
"This is the beginning," she blogged. "There are bigger officials living out there and I know quite a few of them. I am looking forward to the discipline committee and independent investigator's actions."
"There is no place for corrupt officials to hide away within the party," the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection warned in a statement.
Indeed, Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the Communist Party who will become the nation's leader early next year, has vowed to crack down hard on corruption within the party.