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Chinese Communist Party rocked by orgy scandal

The national flag flies from the top of the National Museum of China. Photo: Reuters

The Party in China means the ruling Communist party of China, not the kind of party seen in photos widely posted on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, Weibo.

The now censored images, 100 or so in all, seem to show three top officials from Anhui province posing naked with two women in their underwear.

It looks as though they have been involved in a different kind of congress to the usual major political gatherings held in Beijing. The images went viral until the state censors stepped in and now the phrase 'naked photos' has been banned online. Most people who've seen them have either been posting extremely rude comments or expressing how amused they are by the expressions on the men's faces.

The top officials involved have denied taking part in an orgy and seem to be claiming that they were set up, their faces photoshopped into the images. They say it's because they themselves are involved in investigating a corruption case.

It's not the first time that officials have been caught in embarrassing situations, this week it was revealed that a railways minister who was arrested for taking massive backhanders during the construction of China's huge high speed rail network had been found by investigators in a room with two women, neither of whom were his wife.

This case is the first where it seems the officials were apparently proud to pose for the camera during an orgy. Perhaps the photos were for their personal albums. If they were then it's backfired considerably. They are now some of the best known men in China.

No wonder the state censorship office has moved quickly to delete all the images. This case only adds to the public distrust of party officials who are often criticised for corruption and living a life that couldn't possibly be supported by their official salaries.

The most high profile example being that of Bo Xilai, officially on a salary of around £13,000 and yet his son was sent to expensive private schools in England: Papplewick and Harrow, before Oxford University. He was destined for a seat on China's all powerful standing committee but is now being investigated for "party indiscipline". His wife Gu Kailai has been on trial accused of the murder of Neil Heywood, a British business consultant who had been involved in the family's financial dealings.