It was definitely a body double: the woman brought to court for the murder of Neil Heywood—also known as “The Dark Dragon Lady” or “Lady Macbeth of the Orient” (rather than the Jacqueline Kennedy of China, as once promoted). British experts, with the help of facial recognition technology, alleged that it was not the real Madame Bo, Gu Kai-lai, who was given the death sentence with two years’ “suspension.” The woman at trial had a facial line that was just too round for a prisoner who had allegedly gone through tough interrogations for four months. She looked relaxed and content, as if she had just returned from a fortnight-long LV and French wine holiday in Paris. Whoever arranged for that double should have approached Phillip Wain for some professional aesthetic advice, if not sponsorship for the entire show. And you can’t challenge the British as far as telling how narrow or wide a Chinese woman’s eyes should be. They say the real Madame Bo’s eyes were more slit than those of the alleged actress, if you compare the photos. The gaze of sharp iciness in the real Bo’s look would make even a most libidinous James Bond shiver, while the woman standing in the court with an amiable smile looked as inviting as a friendly bartender on the Bund in Shanghai. And what about the ears? Experts in the Pentagon were practiced in spotting the difference between the real Kim Jong-il and his double by comparing the shapes of the ears, which could never be plausibly faked with plastic replacements. The lady in court had her ears covered, which may betray the meticulous professionalism of those behind the scenes. Why put up a double? We Chinese have a custom of getting everything we want under well-rehearsed and bureaucratically controlled circumstances. With a few nosy gweilos from the British embassy seated in the audience and Madame Bo alleged to be mentally disabled, nobody could’ve guaranteed with 100 percent certainty that the defendant would not cause a scene by shouting some shocking off-script lines, such as, hypothetically, revealing that the former chief executive of Hong Kong, Sir Donald Tsang, was an accomplice. Heads would then have to roll. To eliminate even the slightest risk and make sure it would be a one-take stunt in front of the cameras—well, if I was the official in charge, I wouldn’t even hesitate to assess my own wife’s potential resemblance to the real Dragon Lady. (It would be an added bonus for me and my secret concubine if she were shot in two years’ time.) The trial was widely covered in the western press, almost outshining the London Games opening. It’s better to spend a night in Chungking Mansion with a ladyboy brought from Wan Chai than in a five-star hotel in the real Chung-king. At least in Chungking Mansions, when you find a complimentary bottle of water at your bedside, it is most likely free of cyanide. Chip Tsao is a best-selling author, columnist and a former producer for the BBC. His columns have also appeared in Apple Daily, Next Magazine and CUP Magazine, among others.