The mother of Vancouver-based pop star Wanting Qu is facing the death penalty in China after being arrested nearly two years ago for bribery and embezzlement.
Qu, a platinum-selling singer in China, has been dating Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson for more than two years. He confirmed the arrest last April to reporters.
Wanting's mother, Qu Zhang Mingjie, is a former city official in northeast China, who is charged with three counts of corruption and abuse of power, according to reports from China's state-controlled news agencies.
Wanting Qu posted this childhood photo of herself with her mother on Instagram.
The allegations stem from a $69-million real estate scam, reported the South China Morning Post. Mingjie is accused of co-ordinating a deal that reportedly left hundreds of farm workers in appalling conditions.
Last week, Qu released a new song, titled "Your Girl," dedicated to her mom.
"Though I haven’t been able to talk to her, feel her or reach her in anyway in the last two years, I know deep down in my heart, there’s a place that’s warm like the sun and bright like the moon. It’s a place for a daughter like me and a mother like her," said Qu in a statement on her record company's website.
"I believe that place exists in everyone’s heart. I hope she can hear the song and it gives her love and strength.”
Wanting Qu is dating Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. (Photo: Facebook)
Qu moved from Harbin, China to Canada to attend university when she was a teenager, but later decided to pursue a full-time music career.
Qu, 32, and Robertson, 51, confirmed their relationship on Valentine's Day in 2015. The mayor had separated from his wife of nearly 30 years the previous summer.