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China arrests star pianist Li Yundi with sex worker, calls rule breakers “doom”



Lee Yundi arrest: Lee Yundi was arrested and detained along with a sex worker, the report said.

Chinese state media amplified President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on the entertainment industry after the arrest of a star pianist on charges of prostitution said that anyone challenging the government’s spirit of discipline is doomed.

The ruling Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily said on social media late Thursday that Li Yundi was arrested and detained along with a sex worker.

State broadcaster CCTV said in a commentary about the arrest that “certain celebrities have often challenged social conscience, morality and even the dignity of the law.”

“Discipline and following the laws is the bottom line,” said CCTV, without elaborating exactly what discipline it was referring to. “Whoever dares to cross this bottom line and challenge laws and social morality is doomed.”

The China Musicians Association said in a statement on Friday that it had expelled Li for his “vile social influence”.

Beijing police posted a picture of a piano on social media, saying: “There are more colors in this world than black and white, but one has to differentiate between black and white. This is not to be confused at all.”

Calls to Beijing’s police on Friday morning remained unanswered.

Xi’s government has attempted to clean up the entertainment industry, the broadcast watchdog has banned “wrong” politics on movie stars, capped salaries and reined in celebrity fan culture. Actress Zhao Wei has been blacklisted from China’s Internet as part of the campaign, her work has been removed from streaming sites and her fan club has been cut off from Twitter-like platform Weibo.

The campaign is part of a broader regulatory action ordered by Xi, which has targeted vast sectors of the country’s economy, from tech companies to the property industry and after-school teaching.

A comment widely published in state media described the effort as a country-wide “deep revolution” and warned that anyone who protested would face punishment. That article also warned that “the cultural market would no longer be a heaven for sissy stars, and news and public opinion would no longer be in a position to worship Western culture.”

In 2013, police in Beijing arrested Chinese-American blogger Charles Xu on charges of prostitution as Xi’s government cracked down on popular voices on the Internet. Zooey was writing about issues of pollution and child trafficking, activities that largely took off after his arrest.

In 2000, Lee won the International Chopin Piano Competition, a major event for concert pianists held every five years, then served as a judge in 2015. He was named to a political advisory body in Chongqing, where he was born in 2013.


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