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    Jul 16, 2015

    Spanish diplomat hit me, says Chinese writer

    CHINESE author Jiu Dan, who became a minor celebrity in 2001 after writing The Crows, a sensual novel set in Singapore, is back in the limelight.

    She is alleging that her former lover, who is the Spanish ambassador to China and whom she wrote about in an autobiography called My Mr Ambassador, had abused her.

    The 47-year-old writer, whose real name is Zhu Ziping, claimed that she had been beaten in public by Manuel Valencia, 61, when she confronted him last month on whether he had dumped her after a 13-month affair.

    But the Spanish media reported Mr Valencia - who is married - as telling Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Garcia-Margallo that the row was planned by Zhu to promote her new book, which was released in April in Taiwan.

    The book details how he had allegedly seduced her in 2013 and taken her to bed many times in the Spanish embassy, with many salacious details thrown in.

    According to the Spanish newspaper El Periodico, Zhu had waited for him at the embassy gate on June 13 and deliberately made a scene, which ended with police intervention.

    But Zhu disputed that account, telling Hong Kong-based weekly Yazhou Zhoukan that she had run into Mr Valencia - who was said to be cuddling another woman, on that day in Sanlitun - after he had disappeared unexplained from her life for a year.

    Sanlitun is the epicentre of Beijing's nightlife.

    "As I kept tailing them, he got angry, gave me a slap and punched me repeatedly after pushing me to the ground," Zhu told the magazine.

    She staged two protests at the embassy following the incident, the first coming after the Spanish legation and the Chinese authorities rejected her complaints about the beating, citing Mr Valencia's diplomatic immunity.

    The second was triggered by Mr Valencia's explanation to his superior.

    Zhu has sent a letter to the Spanish Foreign Ministry, refuting Mr Valencia's claim, reported Yazhou Zhoukan.

    "The beating has to do with the violent male chauvinist in this man and his treatment of women as sex toys. These should be the concerns," she told the magazine.

    "Also, the Chinese government is too weak in diplomatic matters. If an American woman is beaten in public by a foreign ambassador on American soil, how would President (Barack) Obama react?" she asked.

    Zhu, who lived in Singapore from 1995 to 2000, shot to fame after publishing The Crows, a Chinese book about how some women from China sell themselves for money or to secure permanent residence after coming to Singapore in search of a better life.

    Opinions in China's social media are divided over the incident involving Mr Valencia, with some saying that Zhu should have known better than to flirt with a married Westerner, and others lauding her for highlighting the sexual lust of foreigners in China.