Posts Tagged ‘Guo Wengui’

China Moves to Discredit Tycoon’s Claims of Communist Party Corruption

April 21, 2017

BEIJING — China on Friday sought to discredit billionaire businessman Guo Wengui, painting him as a “criminal suspect” whose allegations of corruption within the highest levels of the Communist Party should not be believed.

Guo, a flamboyant property mogul who has held close ties to disgraced former Chinese intelligence official Ma Jian, has courted international attention with his explosive claims, most recently aired during a live television interview with the U.S government-funded Voice of America (VoA) on Wednesday.

 Exiled businessman Guo Wengui. Photo: Handout

China said on Wednesday that Guo was subject to an Interpol “red notice”, a fact Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang reiterated at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Friday.

“If you are willing to believe what he said then that’s your business,” Lu said. “We don’t believe it.”

The Chinese government had pressed VoA to cancel the interview ahead of time, including by summoning one of the broadcaster’s Beijing-based correspondents to a meeting on Monday, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The ministry’s comments come amid an apparently concerted damage-limitation effort within China highlighting Guo’s reputation as an unreliable narrator.

A 23-minute video, purportedly of Ma Jian confessing in detail to accepting 60 million yuan ($8.72 million) in bribes from Guo, has circulated on Chinese social media since Wednesday night without being removed by government censors who are often quick to delete politically sensitive posts or unsubstantiated rumors.

The video, which was produced and posted online anonymously, has also been reported on widely by mainland media outlets, all of which are regulated by the government. Reuters was unable to independently verify the veracity of the video.

The widely read Beijing News newspaper, and the respected financial magazine Caixin, also published lengthy investigations into Guo’s business dealings and ties with Ma, a disgraced former state security vice-minister who was first detained in early 2015 and expelled from the Communist Party in December last year.

Guo has said he left China in late 2014 after being tipped off about Ma’s imminent arrest, and has not returned since his company premises were raided amid a heated dispute with state-backed Founder Securities.

Since leaving, he has spent most of his time in the United States.

After laying low for two years, Guo resurfaced in February and has since made wide-ranging but unverified allegations of corruption against several top Communist Party officials – past and present – and their families.

He says the information was obtained from Ma, whom he concedes he held a close relationship with but denies bribing.

At Friday’s Foreign Ministry briefing, Lu rejected suggestions the timing of the Interpol red notice was connected to the airing of the VoA interview.

“Interpol has been around for 100 years and has 190 member states,” he said. “For this kind of international organization we think their actions are solemn.”

(Reporting by Philip Wen and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Related:

 

How a powerful tycoon had a Chinese spy master in his pocket

April 20, 2017

‘Shared interests’: Jailed spy master’s tale of how he and businessman friend looked out for each other’s interests

.

By Nectar Gan
South China Morning Post
Thursday, April 20, 2017, 11:16pm
It sounds like the plot to a political thriller or a Hollywood spy film – in which a self-made business tycoon manipulates the country’s secretive state security agency for business gains and has a spy chief at his beck and call.
.

China launches unprecedented international publicity war against wanted tycoon Guo Wengui (He says he has evidence of corruption at the top of China’s leadership)

April 20, 2017

Mainland officials launch unusually savvy media and cyberspace campaign at home and abroad, outside the official firewall

By South China Morning Post

Thursday, April 20, 2017, 3:52pm

Guo Wengui “Silenced” after saying Beijing was using “terror” tactics against him and his family — Claimed to have evidence of curruption at highest level of China’s government

April 19, 2017

‘China using terror tactics against my family’, businessman claims

South China Morning Post

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 April, 2017, 12:11am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 April, 2017, 12:25am

Interpol issues red notice for Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui at Beijing’s request, sources say — “He’s a big fish”

April 19, 2017
By Jun Mai and Nectar Gan
South China Morning Post
Wednesday, 19 April, 2017, 12:37pm

Senior Chinese banking regulator under investigation: Caixin

April 16, 2017

.

.

Yang Jiacai,  China Banking Regulatory Commission

BEIJING (REUTERS) – A senior official at the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) is under investigation for suspected links to a loan scandal, the financial magazine Caixin reported, citing sources close to the matter.

Yang Jiacai, assistant chairman of CBRC, has been under investigation since April 9 in connection with the scandal in Hubei province, Caixin said late on Saturday, following days of rumours circulating online that Yang had gone missing.

China’s graft watchdog on April 9 also announced an investigation into the chairman of the country’s insurance regulator, Xiang Junbo, the most senior financial regulator to be investigated as part of a government fight against graft.

No official announcement of an investigation into him has been made. His name and profile were still accessible on the CBRC website on Sunday.

Caixin reported last Friday that Yang had been relieved of his duties, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

CBRC did not respond to a faxed request for comment on Friday or to a second fax on Sunday about the investigation.

Yang’s last public appearance was on April 7 speaking at a news conference about new risk control guidelines for lenders as part of efforts to contain risks from a rapid build-up in debt.

China’s top leaders have pledged this year to address financial risks and asset bubbles.

President Xi Jinping has pledged to wage war on deep seated graft in the ruling Communist party until officials at all levels dare not be corrupt, warning that a failure to check the rot could threaten the party’s existence.

Yang and his wife and son were all placed under investigation due to their suspected involvement in a loan scandal in Hubei, Yang’s home province, Caixin said.

Yang spent most of his career in Hubei and was deputy head of the central bank’s Wuhan city branch in Hubei from 1997 to 2003, according to his official profile.

According to the article, investigations into the scandal have already led to a number of official probes, including into chief risk officer of China’s Bank of Communications, Yang Dongping, who was expelled from the party on Feb 24.

Yang became assist chairman of the CBRC in 2013.

******************************************

Some say Xi Jinping’s anti-corrption campaign is just a way for him to elivinate critics and political foes. No one will come forward to say that corrupion is down undr Xi Jinping. That’s only a myth….

It happens in Russia — occasionally. An oligarch, made fabulously wealthy through the privatization of state assets, breaks ranks, becoming a critic of President Vladimir V. Putin.

China was different. Its growing ranks of billionaires often owe their fortunes to the good graces of the Communist Party and its leading families. But the firsthand knowledge that the country’s tycoons might have of the complex shareholding ties that serve to enrich the political elite had stayed secret.

That changed this year. In two rambling interviews with a New York-based media company lasting more than four hours, Guo Wengui, a real estate magnate, described what he said was a ferocious struggle that culminated two years ago in the collapse of a business deal pitting him against relatives of a retired top Communist Party official, He Guoqiang.

Since then, Mr. Guo has lived abroad, and is a member of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

In going public with his charges, Mr. Guo demonstrated just how dangerous a loose-lipped billionaire can be to China’s Communist Party. The party still strives to cultivate an image of selfless service to the nation, with state-run news media repeatedly emphasizing that no official is immune to President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive, now in its fifth year.

If Mr. Guo is to be believed, Mr. Xi, when he assumed leadership of the Communist Party in November 2012, may have faced a far more serious corruption problem than has been publicly disclosed, touching not only the departing chief of the country’s security forces but perhaps also the top official in charge of rooting out graft in the party’s own ranks, Mr. He. Both were members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the elite body that wields supreme power in China.

“If you are Xi Jinping and you are deciding to go after corruption, can you take them on all at once?” asked Andrew Wedeman, a professor of political science at Georgia State University who studies corruption in Chinese politics.

Photo

Zhou Yongkang, the former head of the security forces, in court in 2015.CreditChina Central Television, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The former head of the security forces, Zhou Yongkang, was prosecuted on graft charges and is now serving a life sentence in prison. But there is no report that Mr. He or members of his family have been prosecuted. To Mr. Guo, that demonstrates the weakness of the corruption crackdown: Among the elite, the campaign touches only those who are already on the losing side of factional power struggles.

Mr. Guo explained in a March 8 videotaped interview with Mirror Media Group, a Chinese-language news company based on Long Island, how Mr. He’s son He Jintao was the “boss” of the second-largest shareholder in Founder Securities, a company in which Mr. Guo was seeking to acquire a large stake. He Jintao concealed his role through a proxy, according to Mr. Guo.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/15/world/asia/china-billionaire-guo-wengui-xi-mar-a-lago.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fasia&_r=0

Read it all:

First sign of cooperation? US repatriates one of China’s most wanted ‘Sky Net’ fugitives days before Xi Jinping’s visit

September 18, 2015

Yang Jinjun, who is suspected of bribery and corruption and fled to the US in 2001, was on list of mainland anti-graft operation’s 100 ‘wanted’ fugitives

By Naomi Ng
South China Morning Post

The United States government repatriated a Chinese businessman on the list of the top 100 wanted Chinese fugitives on Friday, says the Chinese government.

Yang Jinjun, who is suspected of bribery and corruption, is the first of the 100 targets to be forcibly repatriated to China by the US government, said a statement released by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection on Friday.

READ MORE: Xi Jinping’s US visit: itinerary, issues and delegation

China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has published headshots and background information about the 100 wanted fugitives listed as part of Operation Sky Net on its website. Photo: SCMP Pictures

READ MORE: Investigators face huge task to catch China’s 100 wanted fugitives: analysts

He is the 13th fugitive sent back to China as part of the mainland’s “Operation Sky Net” anti-graft operation, since it was aunched in April this year.

The other 12 fugitives were either convinced by Chinese agents to return, or repatriated by other countries.

An alleged Chinese ‘economic fugitive’, wearing a mask, arrives back in China after 10 years on the run in Italy. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Yang fled to the US in 2001, and had been listed as a fugitive, subject to red notices issued by Interpol, since 2005.

A red notice appeals for the location and arrest of each wanted person, and asks those member states that have signed up to the organisation, which facilitates international police cooperation, to extradite them.

Yang, who is a Wenzhou native, is the manager and legal representative of Minghe Group, according to state media.

Chinese police escort Li Huabo (centre) after being repatriated from Singapore, upon his arrival at the Beijing Capital International Airport in May. Photo: Xinhua

READ MORE: China repatriates No 2 ‘Sky Net’ fugitive official who fled to Singapore after alleged 94m yuan fraud

The announcement of this repatriation comes only days before President Xi Jinping’s visit to the US, which begins on Tuesday.

China has called for the US to help the repatriation of China’s corrupt officials or businessmen hiding in the US.

China is especially keen for the US to repatriate Ling Wancheng, brother of former presidential aide Ling Jihua (above), from the US. Photo: EPA

The repatriation of Chinese fugitives topped the agenda of a visit to the US earlier this month by Meng Jianzhu, the head of China’s Communist Party’s Central Politics and Legal Affairs Committee.

China especially wanted the US to repatriate Ling Wancheng, brother of former presidential aide Ling Jihua, and Guo Wengui, a businessman related to disgraced spy chief Ma Jian, South China Morning Post reported today.

In April, CCDI released a detailed list of the 100 fugitives it wants to extradite back to China as part of “Sky Net”.

Xi Jinping Sets High Priority On Return From The U.S. Two Chinese Allegedly Linked to Crimes In China

September 17, 2015

Xi Jinping’s Agenda in Washington with President Obama start to look more certain: Security chief asks for return of two Chinese allegedly linked to graft as US raises cybersecurity concerns during preparations for state visit

By Staff Reporters
The South China Morning Post

The repatriation of two Chinese allegedly linked to corruption investigations topped the agenda when China’s security chief visited Washington to prepare for President Xi Jinping’s state visit, sources revealed.

Meng Jianzhu , head of the Communist Party’s Central Politics and Legal Affairs Committee, asked Washington to repatriate Ling Wancheng and Guo Wengui during talks with senior US officials who included Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, FBI Director James Comey and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, the sources said. The US side raised concerns over cybersecurity.

The US remained non-committal on the repatriation, which would be difficult for Washington unless China could show proof of crimes, the sources said, adding that Beijing was building a case against the two men.

Meng, who visited Washington from September 9 to 12 as Xi’s special envoy, was leading a delegation of security, judiciary and information technology officials.

Xi will begin his first state visit to the United States next Tuesday and is scheduled to talk with US President Barack Obama on Friday. In an address to a Sino-US business dialogue in Beijing yesterday, Xi said he expected the trip would deepen understanding between the two nations.

Beijing is stepping up efforts to trace corruption suspects who have fled overseas, but its efforts have been hindered by a lack of bilateral extradition treaties.

US Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Thomas Donohue (centre) speaks at yesterday’s meeting in Beijing. Photo: AFP

Ling Wancheng, a businessman and the youngest brother of disgraced former presidential aide Ling Jihua , was reported to have fled to the US in what media said was “an intelligence coup at China’s expense”. The elder Ling, the former chief of staff of retired president Hu Jintao , has been accused of acquiring state and party secrets.

Guo, a property developer who claimed in March he was in the US for medical treatment, is said to have ties with disgraced former senior spy Ma Jian . Ma was detained this year, in a move believed to be a part of a larger probe into Ling Jihua.

Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang yesterday said Beijing had provided ample evidence to international partners in its anti-graft efforts, but did not refer to a specific case.

Xi’s US visit comes amid mounting pressure on Obama to impose economic sanctions on China for allegedly stealing intellectual property. Obama told the US business sector on Wednesday the US had emphasised to China that industrial espionage by its government or proxies in cyberspace went beyond traditional intelligence gathering.

Meng expressed Beijing’s willingness to tackle cybercrime, the sources said.

Xinhua said an “important consensus” on cybercrime had been reached on Meng’s trip, but the White House described only a “frank and open exchange about cyber issues”.

Part of that “consensus” could be that Washington agreed not to impose sanctions during or before Xi’s visit, said Professor Jie Dalei , of Peking University. “But it’s hard to tell whether actions will be taken after the visit,” he said.