Liu Tienan, deputy chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, an agency that oversees economic policy, lost his job in May after a former mistress told a journalist that he had embezzled $200 million from banks. The allegations were posted online by Chinese business magazine Caijing. Liu is among a string of officials called out by their jilted mistresses, leading many in the public to joke that the xiaosan — “the other woman” or literally “the third person” — is the most effective graft-buster. The People’s Daily, the Communist party mouthpiece, issued an editorial saying: “Some people have said that the anti-corruption departments at all levels perform worse than the mistresses. Although it’s a joke, it reflects a serious question: Whom should the anti-corruption effort depend on?” Chinese authorities announced in May that Liu is under investigation for “suspected disciplinary violations.”
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