A SENIOR Communist Party policy advisor has been forced to resign after his jilted lover posted a 120,000-word account of their affair online.
Since December, the hushed and scholarly corridors of the Communist Party's Central Compilation and Translation Bureau in Beijing, one of its most important policy units, have buzzed with gossip about its bespectacled 54-year-old director, Yi Junqing.
Mr Yi, an owlish former propaganda chief in northern China, had overseen the bureau for two years. But since October 2011 he had been romancing a married postdoctorate researcher, 34-year-old Chang Yan.
At the end of last year, one month after their final amorous liaison, Mrs Chang wrote an emotional 120,000 word account of their affair and posted it online.
On Thursday, the official Xinhua news agency sent out a terse report that Mr Yi had been dismissed for his "improper life style".
Mr Yi had once nursed lofty ambitions. "I am quite talented after all," he confided to Mrs Chang last February after one of their meetings in the XiXi Friendship Hotel. " Xi Jinping [China's incoming president] and Li Yuanchao [the former head of the Party's internal HR department] have a good impression of me."
But even before he hired Mrs Chang, a graduate of the Marxism College of Renmin university, Mr Yi was undone.
"We went to a Japanese restaurant," she recorded, in August 2011. "He had two bottles of sake. I was trying to figure out what he wanted, money or me. I knew I would have to pay one way or another to work at the bureau. In fact, I had already paid 10,000 yuan (£1,000).
"He said he would hire me within two months. I drank a lot and I felt excited. Later, as he helped me to get a taxi, I felt frisky and asked him to hug me. He said it was too public."
By December, Mrs Chang had a job and Mr Yi had a lover.
"I booked a room and he brought along some sushi and sake," she wrote. "I drank quickly, wanting to get drunk. I was quite red in the face but my mind was clear.
"He went to the bathroom and I took everything off apart from my underwear. When he returned, I was lying under the duvet, blushing," she wrote.
As rumours of their affair began to leak out last year, Mr Yi had second thoughts. He dispatched one of his deputies to brush Mrs Chang off, suggesting that if she left Beijing and returned to her home city of Taiyuan, in Shanxi province, they would arrange for a professorship at a local university.
"He said in the future I should hide my opinions and my body too. I was almost heartbroken and I went back to Taiyuan," she wrote.
Scorned, Mrs Chang posted her entire account, including dates for each of their 17 encounters, online. Later, she took it down, claiming that it was a work of fiction. But the damage was done.
Since it was founded in the 1950s, the CCTB has grown from its roots as the official translator of the works of Marx, Engels and Stalin into Chinese to become a key Party think tank.
Yu Keping, one of China's more liberal theorists, serves as the head of its research arm. He told American diplomats, according to a Wikileaks cable, that the bureau did "academic" and "political" research into reform, international relations and governance.
- Malcolm Moore, Telegraph.co.uk