Vitug Vlogs: Corruption in China
MANILA, Philippines – Rappler’s editor at large Marites Vitug talks about the wealth enjoyed by families of China’s political elite as the country prepares for a leadership change.
Here’s her video blog.
Questions haunt China’s Communist Party as it meets to decide a once-in-a-decade transition of power on November 8.
Did two of their leaders – incoming president Xi Jinping and the current premier Wen Jiabao – know that members of their families accumulated tremendous wealth as they rose to power?
Did they have a part in this? Did they intervene, facilitate or simply close their eyes to their families’ business dealings?
A Chinese proverb says: When a man gets power, even his chickens and dogs rise to heaven.
In June this year, Bloomberg reported that Xi’s extended family members expanded their business interests to include stakes in mining, rare metals, real estate and mobile-phone equipment. Total investments amount to at least a billion dollars.
This was followed by a New York Times report last month. It detailed Wen’s relatives’ incredibly huge wealth reaching billions of dollars. For example:
– Wen’s son co-founded a major private equity firm.
– His daughter holds shares of a Chinese diamond company.
– His wife is a major player in China’s gem and jewelry trade.
China blocked access to Bloomberg and the New York Times websites when these investigations were published. But could these have escaped China’s 300 million micro-bloggers?
Surely, there must be anger. But change does not come fast and easy in this opaque country. – Rappler.com