Eight current or former members of the Communist Party of China (CPC), including the brother-in-law of President Xi Jinping, allegedly used offshore tax havens to conceal their wealth, a development that could dent his image of overseeing the communist giant’s sweeping anti-graft dragnet.
Eight of the top officials of the CPC were among 140 political figures around the world said to have links to offshore accounts.
The officials include Xi’s brother-in-law Deng Jiagui, who reportedly set up two British Virgin Islands companies in 2009 when Mr. Xi was member of the powerful Standing Committee of the CPC.
In 2014, both The New York Times and Bloomberg carried reports that family members of former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Xi Jinping had large assets base. The Chinese Foreign Ministry at that time termed the allegations as smear campaigns.
Since he took over power, Mr. Xi launched China’s biggest anti-corruption campaign in which thousands of officials including top leaders such as the former czar of the national security, Zhou Yongkang, were punished with long prison terms.
Mr. Xi, 62, broke the norm as he pressed ahead with the anti-corruption campaign against “tigers and flies,” meaning all ranks in order to restore the sagging credibility of the party among people.
Chinese media silent Chinese media remained silent on the revelations. But while the the ICIJ’s website is officially blocked in the country, users of the micro-blog Weibo who had managed to see the findings began discussing them online.
“My confidence in socialism has suddenly collapsed,” quipped one user, before the post was promptly removed.
Former official charged In a separate development, former head of Chinese military Guo Boxion has been charged with taking bribes to the tune of about 80 million yuan or $12.3 million, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Monday. According to sources close to People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the official figure is just a small fraction of how much money China’s disgraced retired military chief actually received.
Mr. Guo, 74, had earlier been put under corruption investigation and was expelled from the CPC in July last year.
He was a former vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, the highest military body of China currently headed by Xi.
Having been a member of the 25-man Politburo at the party’s top echelon, Mr. Guo is also the highest-ranking general to fall to a graft charge since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Military prosecutors recently wrapped up the criminal investigation into Mr. Guo and the case had been filed to a court, the Post quoted officials as saying.