China’s New Wealth Spurs a Market for Mistresses

Giới nhà giàu mới phất Trung Quốc thúc đẩy thị trường cung ứng bồ nhí

  • new wealth
  • spur
  • mitress
  • of smb’s  ilk
  • lavishly appointed
  • duplex
  • via Associated Press
  • tầng lớp giàu mới nổi, lớp nhà giàu mới;
  • làm nảy sinh; thúc đẩy, kích thích {đinh thúc ngựa}
  • cô nhân tình; bồ nhí
  • cùng hạng; cùng một giuộc với ..
  • được trang bị  bài trí xa hoa; với nội thất hào nhoáng sang trọng
  • căn hộ hai tầng
  • theo thông tấn xã AP //according to Associated Press
    Published: August 9, 2011

    BEIJING — Jian, a 42-year-old property developer (nhà kinh doanh bất động sản ) in the booming (đang bùng phát) southern metropolis of Shenzhen (tỉnh Thâm Quyến thủ phủ miền Nam), had acquired just about everything men of his socio-economic ilk (có thứ bậc kinh tế xã hội cùng hạng) covet (phải thèm thuồng): a Mercedes-Benz, a sprawling antique jade collection (bộ sưu tập ngọc cổ) and a lavishly appointed (được trang bị  bài trí xa hoa) duplex (căn hộ hai tầng) for his wife and daughter.









    Stian Lysberg Solum/SCANPIX, via Associated Press

    Liu Zhijun, a former railway minister, had 18 mistresses, a government document suggested Imaginechina,
    via Associated Press

    Xu Maiyong, a former vice mayor executed (bị tử hình) for embezzlement (biển thủ, thụt két), reportedly (theo báo chí cho biết) had dozens of mistresses.

    It was only natural then, he said, that two years ago he took up another costly pastime (thú vui hao của tốn tiền): a beguiling (đẹp quyến rũ) 20-year-old art major (chuyên ngành nghệ thuật) whose affections run him (khiến ông phải chi phí) about $6,100 a month.

    Jian, who asked that his full name be withheld lest it endanger his 20-year marriage, cavorts (nhảy cẩng lên; đú đởn vui thú) with his young coed (cô nữ sinh trường hỗn hợp) in a secret apartment he owns, a price he willingly pays for the modern equivalent of a concubine. (nàng hầu của vua chúa ngày xưa) 

    “Keeping a mistress is just like playing golf,” he said. “Both are expensive hobbies.”

    As China has shed its chaste (trong sạch) Communist mores (khuôn thức đạo đức) for the wealth (của cải) and indulgences (thú vui, thụ hưởng) of a market-oriented economy, the boom has bred (tạo giống, làm sản sinh) a generation of nouveau-riche lotharios (kẻ quyến rũ đàn bà) yearning to rival the sexual conquests (chiến tích phong tình) of their imperial ancestors. Even the Chinese term for mistress — “ernai,” (ái nương) or second wife — harks back to (quay về với) that polygamous tradition of yore (của ngày xa xưa).

    Judging from the embarrassing revelations (những phát hiện gây bối rối) to emerge (lộ ra) in recent months, such arrangements (những chuyện sắp xếp tổ ấm như vậy) appear to be commonplace among the corporate titans (các đại công ty), rags-to-riches entrepreneurs (doanh gia xưa rách rưới nay rủng rỉnh) and government officials whose inordinate and sometimes ill-gotten (do làm ăn bất chính) gains (tiền kiếm được) can maintain one or more lovers — many of whom are sustained through stipends (tiền chu cấp), furnished apartments (nhà cửa có đầy đủ nội thất) and luxury sports cars (xe thể thao sang trọng, xa hoa).

    But these relationships — and their sometimes messy devolutions (hủ hóa) — have ignited a growing backlash (phản ứng quật lại, sự đập lại) as the public stews over  (bức xúc, âm ỉ chịu đựng ) the incessant tales of morally compromised (đạo đức suy đồi) officials, greedy lovers and vengeful wives regularly splashed across (bị đưa ra trên báo chí) newspapers and published on the Internet — unless censors get to them first.

    In July, Xu Maiyong, the former vice mayor (phó thị trưởng) of the capital of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou (Hàng Châu), was executed for bribery and embezzlement worth more than $30 million. Nicknaming him “Plenty Xu,” (Xu Phú ông) the Chinese press reported that he kept dozens of mistresses.

    Just a few weeks before, an official in Jiangsu (Giang Tô) Province and his mistress (cô bồ, nhân tình) were caught making detailed plans for a hotel-room rendezvous on the microblog Weibo after mistakenly believing (tưởng lầm rằng) their messages were private.

    In February, Railway Minister Liu Zhijun (Lưu Chí Quân), a 58-year-old with a combover (tóc chải lấp), was removed from his post after news reports said (báo chí phanh phui rằng)  he had embezzled $152 million over the years. But a leaked directive from the Central Propaganda Bureau (Cơ quan Tuyên giáo Trung ương) revealed (cho thấy) a more salacious (còn bại hoại hơn, còn suy đốn hơn) side to his misconduct: “All media are not to report  (không được đưa tin) or hype (thổi phồng) the news that Liu Zhijun had 18 mistresses.”

    A month earlier, the mistress of a party official in Guangdong Province sentenced to death in a $4.5 million bribery scandal was herself jailed for the Land Rover and property she had received from him.

    And in one of the most shocking cases (trường hợp gây rúng động), an official in Hubei (Hồ Bắc) Province was detained in December on suspicion of strangling (siết cổ) his mistress — then pregnant with twins — and dumping (vùi, vất xuống) her body in a river after she demanded he marry her or pay $300,000, according to media reports.

    The phenomenon has been an official concern (mối lo lắng quốc gia) for some time now. In 2007, China’s top prosecutor’s office (văn phòng công tố tối cao) said that 90 percent of the country’s most senior officials felled by corruption scandals (dính vào bê bối tham nhũng) in previous years had kept mistresses (đã từng nuôi bồ nhí).

    Faced with a spate of (một loạt những) legal disputes (tranh chấp pháp lý) between mistresses and their lovers over money and with growing public disgust that threatens to tarnish (làm hoen ố) its authority, the Communist Party is trying to stanch (ngăn chắn) the mistress tide (làn sóng mèo chuột) through carrots and sticks (những biện pháp răn đe và khuyến khích) aimed at women and men alike.

    The Supreme People’s Court (Tòa án Nhân dân Tối cao ) has considered a draft interpretation (dự thảo ) of the country’s marriage law that would for the first time acknowledge mistresses (thê thiếp), stating that they have no legal right to their patron’s money (không có quyền đòi hỏi tiền bạc, tài sản ..với người bao nuôi mình ), property or other expensive trinkets (đồ trang sức đắt tiền), legal experts said. Likewise, married men would not be able to use the courts (nhờ đến pháp luật) to regain the cash and other niceties they had lavished (vung tay hào phóng) on affairs {that had} gone bad.

    In an effort to combat (chống lại) the growing lure (cám dỗ) of the sugar daddy (người đàn ông ham gái), some local governments have gone on the offensive (chuyển qua tấn công trực diện), preaching against (giảng giải) moral turpitude (sự sa đọa đạo đức) and trying to encourage young women to rely on less carnal skills (kỹ năng thân xác) to survive. To that end, officials in Guangdong announced in March that starting this autumn all girls in elementary and middle school would be required to take a new course in “self-esteem, self-confidence, self-reliance and self-improvement.” (tự trọng, tự tín, tự lực và tự tiến)

    Such efforts are inspired by what many see as a ballooning moral crisis. Indeed, an entire industry has sprung up that lures young women with promises of sexually-oriented shortcuts to success. In April, the police in Beijing broke up one such “college concubine agency” that claimed to connect university students with wealthy admirers for up to $100,000 annually.

    “Walk around Beijing and what do you see? ‘Buy a new Audi, look at this Rolex, you need some clothes from Gucci,’ ” said Zhou Guanquan, a law professor at Tsinghua University. “Such things are simply unaffordable, but becoming a mistress can solve this problem.”

    Those who see mistresses as victims of the nation’s frayed moral fabric and a glaring income gap say the legal system is merely compounding the problem.

    Zheng Beichun, a Beijing-based lawyer who has represented mistresses in court, said the nation’s elite, including judges and government officials, have little desire to tinker with the status quo.

    “They are the ones running around with mistresses in the first place, so it’s in their own interest to make defending mistresses’ rights very difficult,” Mr. Zheng said. He said he started a Web site in 2006 offering legal services and counseling for mistresses that drew over 600 desperate women before it was shut down.

    Not all mistresses are in it for the money. Three years ago, Lulu, 24, said she fell for a successful artist from Sichuan Province who just happened to be married. But his high profile in the art world, not to mention his wife and young daughter, prevent the two from seeing each other more than once a month, leaving Lulu, who like the others said she was too ashamed to have her full name revealed, alone much of the time.

    “I have a relationship with my phone,” she said one recent afternoon, as she forlornly scrolled through some of his latest texts, among them “have you eaten?” “go to bed,” and “I love you.”

    Dependent on her lover for money because he forbids her to work, Lulu says she feels trapped. “Leaving him is not an option,” she said bitterly. “I’ve had many men propose to me, but they’re no better than him. They also have their own secret lives.”

    Li, the daughter of illiterate peasants from a remote village in Jiangxi Province, said she grew up sharing one quilt with her parents and a brother during winter and hearing the proverb “laugh at the poor, rather than the whore.” At 9, she said, she began working in a brick factory for a few cents a week.

    “My parents gave me nothing,” she said. “Just a pretty face and a nice figure.”

    After graduating from a university in Guangzhou, Li found an internship at a local electronics company, where she caught the eye of the company’s married middle-aged owner. What began as a series of text messages about work soon turned into clandestine nights in luxury hotel rooms, she said. A few months later the boss gave her a debit card, followed by an apartment near the office.

    Now 26, Li has a closetful of Jimmy Choos, a new Porsche and a Cartier diamond engagement ring. In May, after her boss divorced his wife, he and Li got married.

    But romance had nothing to do with Li’s decision to tie the knot. “You can’t feed yourself with love,” she said, even as she was making final wedding preparations. Rather than become a housewife, Li will continue working at her husband’s company, where she can earn a decent salary, and more importantly, she says, keep an eye on him.

    “A woman should never trust a man, even if it’s her husband,” she said. “A woman can only trust herself.”


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