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40 years of reform and opening up

Lu Wei’s confession, the red handprint and the unusual display in honour of China’s reform and opening up

  • Disgraced top official’s handwritten letter of repentance gives a personal touch to exhibition at the National Museum in Beijing
PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 November, 2018, 9:46am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 November, 2018, 9:52am

A handwritten letter of repentance from the man who used to rule Chinese cyberspace is among the featured attractions at an exhibition in Beijing to mark the 40th anniversary of the country’s reform and opening up.

The letter by Lu Wei, the former internet tsar who toured Facebook’s US headquarters with CEO Mark Zuckerberg before Lu’s downfall in 2016, was displayed at the National Museum of China alongside similar documents by other “tigers” – or senior officials – felled in the country’s anti-corruption campaign.

When Lu was expelled from the party in February, the anti-graft watchdog denounced him as “tyrannical” and “shameless” – unusually harsh terms for a senior official.

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“I have made serious, unforgivable mistakes in politics, finance, work, and life, and totally abandoned the basic principle and the bottom line of a Communist Party member,” Lu wrote.

In an apparent reference to the party’s claims that he traded power for sex, Lu wrote: “My lifestyle hurt my wife deeply and we often argued because of it. She has completely given up on me. She once said to me in sadness: ‘I can’t control you, but sooner or later the Communist Party will fix you.’ And the prophecy had come true!

“My son just had his thirtieth birthday. I am not a good example for him and did not fulfill my duty to him as a father.”

Another featured document is the warrant – complete with signature and red handprint – for Xiang Junbo, the former head of the defunct China Insurance Regulatory Commission.

China’s ‘tyrannical’ former internet tsar Lu Wei accused of trading power for sex in long list of corruption charges

Lu and Xiang are among the 440 officials at the provincial level or above officially detained in the national campaign, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the party’s anti-graft watchdog.

The casualties include 43 members of the Central Committee, one of the inner circles of power; and nine members of the CCDI.