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Human Rights & Social Issues

China: Heirs of Communist Party’s founding fathers at forefront of ‘red aristocracy’

Chen Yuan, of China Development Bank

Chen Yuan, of China Development Bank

A study shows how descendants of eight party founding fathers are multibillion-dollar players at the forefront of the country’s ‘red aristocracy’.

An exposé yesterday of the huge business interests and personal assets of the descendants of eight dead Communist Party veterans offers a detailed look at one part of China’s elite and how its members benefited from the country’s economic boom.

Bloomberg News released a package of articles and info-graphics that dissects the scale and origins of China’s “red aristocracy”, tracing the fortunes of 103 people – the so-called Eight Immortals’ direct descendants and their spouses.

But government curbs on news websites ensured the reports did not spark online discussions on the mainland.

The Eight Immortals – Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun, Yang Shangkun, Wang Zhen, Bo Yibo, Li Xiannian, Peng Zhen and Song Renqiong – were founding fathers of Communist China who later orchestrated its opening up to the world in 1978.

In the 1980s, their descendants were chosen to run the new state-owned conglomerates. In the 1990s, they tapped into real estate and the mainland’s growing hunger for coal and steel.

Today they are players in private equity amid China’s integration into the global economy.

Twenty-six of the heirs ran or held top positions in state-owned companies that dominate the economy. Three children alone – Wang’s son, Wang Jun , Deng’s son-in-law He Ping and Chen Yuan , the son of Mao Zedong‘s economic tsar – headed or still run state-owned firms with combined assets of about US$1.6 trillion last year. That is equivalent to more than a fifth of the mainland’s annual economic output.

Forty-three of the 103 ran their own businesses or became executives in private firms.

The third generation – the Eight Immortals’ grandchildren and their spouses – have used their family connections and overseas education to gain jobs in the private sector. At least 11 of the 31 members of that generation have run their own businesses or held executive posts. Some were hired by Wall Street banks such as Citigroup and Morgan Stanley.

At least 18 of the Eight Immortals’ descendants own or run entities linked to companies registered offshore, in jurisdictions that offer extra secrecy.

While the Eight Immortals vilified the “bourgeois individualism” of capitalist nations, almost half of their heirs have lived, studied or worked abroad – some in Australia, Britain and France.

At least 23 of their descendants and their spouses studied in the United States, including three at Harvard University and four at Stanford University. At least 18 worked for US entities, and 12 owned property in the US.

Bloomberg News said it scoured thousands of pages of corporate documents, property records and official websites.

Its website has been blocked on the mainland since June, when it published a story about the assets of the family of party leader Xi Jinping .

Attempts by bloggers and bulletin board users to post the Bloomberg stories on Sina Weibo failed yesterday. They received warnings it was a breach of rules.

Zhang Lifan, a political affairs analyst, said exposés of the fortunes of the red aristocracy would put pressure on the party’s new leadership. Xi, 59, is himself a “princeling” descendant of a senior party leader, as are two other members of the party’s Politburo Standing Committee.

Zhang said the latest exposé further confirmed the difficulty in pushing ahead with reform, which meant “taking the cheese from very powerful and well-connected people and families”.

Source: SCMP “Exposé reveals ascent to riches by ‘Immortals’ heirs”

About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee


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