While the police in their post on Weibo did not identify Li by his full name, state media, including People’s Daily, confirmed the identity of the suspect as the pianist, reported Reuters. Beijing Chaoyang District police on Thursday said that they caught a woman surnamed Chen and a man surnamed Li, adding that the two have been placed under administrative detention in accordance with law.
The 39-year-old and a sex worker, 29 have also confessed to the illegal activity, alleged police in the post.
While the police department did not provide further information on the arrests made, it made another post along with a picture of a piano keyboard and said: "The world is indeed more than black and white, but it’s important to distinguish and draw a clear line between black and white, which cannot go wrong.”
The circumstances of his arrest or the punishment that he may face, however, is unclear at the moment. Li and his representatives have also so far not issued a statement.
Following the police notice, the official China Musicians Association also announced its decision to expel Li from the organisation, reported the Associated Press.
Jerome Cohen, a New York University law professor who specialises in the Chinese legal system, told The New York Times that the lack of transparency in the case is problematic as he raised concerns about China’s government using the charges of prostitution against political opponents.
“Can one be confident that the facts alleged are true?” Professor Cohen was quoted as saying. “Prostitution is such a time-honoured Communist Party claim against political opponents that one has to be suspicious of this case.”
Li, 39, began playing piano as a small child and studied in China and Germany and gained international fame for winning the Frederic Chopin international piano competition at the age of 18. He has since toured the world and recorded frequently, making him one of China’s best-known international artists.
Additional reporting from the wires