New book exposes hidden corruption in China. Xi’s Family and the CCP Have a Lot to Respond
VSChinese President Xi Jinping’s campaign for common prosperity wants redistribute wealth, but the past of the party’s top leaders is surrounded by layers of corrupt deals and massive personal fortunes.
In the world of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), there are winners and losers, and roulette corruption is rampant within the party.
Xi Qi Qiaoqiao’s sister and her husband Deng Jiagui are the the owners of Beijing Central People’s Trust Real Estate Development Corporation Ltd. The couple’s real estate business has grown in leaps and bounds as they have been given best land by local authorities to solicit favors from Xi Jinping. Xi’s brother-in-law Deng Jiagui was mentioned in the 2014 International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) report on the offshore accounts of Chinese elites.
Xi’s Family Owns $ 1 Million, Land Registry Says goods at Braemar Hill Garden in Hong Kong, registered as Sister Qi.
In 2012, Bloomberg revealed that Xi’s extended family had total assets worth $ 376 million, which included an 18% stake in provincial group Jiangxi Rare Earth and Rare Metals Tungsten. But none of those assets were attributed directly to Xi Jinping or his wife, Peng Liyuan.
In 2014, The New York Times reported, citing Chinese documents, that Xi Jinping had forced his extended family to sell their assets. Xi’s sister and brother-in-law moved their assets in Qinchuan Dadi Investment Company but did not sell most of their valuable assets.
The party is also waging a campaign against celebrities of foreign nationality, but that of Xi family would have several foreign permanent residents and passport holders.
Read also : Does Xi bring back Mao’s Cultural Revolution? Much debate on the goal of “common prosperity”
New book shines a light on the party
Xi’s obscure affairs are shrouded in mystery, even as other members of the Politburo Standing Committee have their fair share of questionable pasts.
Han Zheng was promoted to party secretary in Shanghai after a scandal brought down Chen Liangyu. A few months after the office started, the party discovered that Han Zheng had hidden $ 20 million in an Australian bank, according to Desmond Shum’s book, Red Roulette: An Insider’s Story of Wealth, Power, Corruption and Revenge in China Today.
The book reveals the intertwined relationship between corruption and high politics in China. Shum and his wife Whitney Duan defended the guanxi model of using personal relationships to research access and commercial contracts.
The party tried to avoid another scandal by replacing Han with Xi Jinping. Han managed to evade action and rose to the rank of a member of the Politburo Standing Committee – a post he still holds. Han got closer to Xi Jinping after being his deputy in Shanghai.
In 2012, New York Times correspondent David Barboza has broken an exclusive story on the family fortune of former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao amounting to $ 2.7 billion, allegedly concealed under the name of Wen’s mother, Yang Zhiyun.
Shum takes issue with Barboza’s claims that he and his wife made their fortunes through their dealings with Wen Jiabao’s family, in particular through purchasing the shares of state-owned Ping An in the Hong Kong listing. Shum claims Jiabao Wen was unaware of his family’s business dealings and expressed outrage when the scandal erupted in 2012.
Li Zhanshu is another party leader who has focused on his family’s affairs.
Li Zhanshu and his business connections are said to have played a crucial role in passing Hong Kong’s National Security Law. He “oversaw the swift passage of the new Hong Kong National Security Law which gave the party a powerful new weapon to crush dissent,” reported The New York Times.
Read also : National Security or China Inc? Xi attacks global dreams of local businesses
Xi Jinping’s strategy
“In China, officials never reveal their ambitions in public. Biding his time is a key tenant of Sun Tzu Art of warShum writes in his book on the strategy adopted by ambitious leaders like Xi Jinping.
Maintaining a level of secrecy around its business relationships and ambitions is considered virtuous by Chinese leaders.
This is the code that Bo Xilai broke when he posited his name as the next CCP general secretary from 2007. Bo and Xi are both sons of the two “immortals” of the Communist Party, a term used. to designate the veteran leaders who fought alongside Mao Zedong against the nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-Shek.
Bo mobilized the Chongqing model to fight growing corruption when he was party secretary of the municipality.
But Bo’s fortunes deteriorated following a scandal involving the death of US citizen Neil Heywood. Bo was sentenced to life in prison. Wen Jiabao supported Xi Jinping and paved the way for his rise to power.
Bo’s flamboyant mix with the media was radically different from Xi’s cautious behind-the-scenes political maneuvering that made him China’s current top leader.
The anti-corruption campaign was Xi’s favorite tool – with the help of Zhao Leji – to dismantle any opposition.
“As Xi’s bribery campaign unfolded, I finally concluded that it was more about burying potential rivals than rooting out embezzlement. Xi had previously played a role in locking up his compatriot, Bo Xilai. He followed this up by imprisoning Bo’s ally on the Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, ”writes Shum in Red roulette.
Strict media control and limited access by foreign journalists to Chinese leaders has made it difficult to disseminate reports on corruption at the highest levels of the party.
The author is a freelance columnist and journalist. He was previously a Chinese media reporter for the BBC World Service. He tweets @aadilbrar. Opinions are personal.
(Edited by Prashant)
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