BEIJING (AP) – Li Xiaolin, daughter of a former Chinese premier known for his support of the bloody military crackdown on the 1989 democracy movement, held as much as $2.48 million in a secret HSBC account in Switzerland, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has found.
The revelation, gleaned from a cache of leaked files that have been dubbed “Swiss Leaks”, adds to the list of families of Chinese senior politicians who amassed huge wealth in the past couple of decades and stashed some of it in overseas accounts that can help them avoid detection by authorities back home.
Li did not respond to requests by the ICIJ for comments. People who answered phones Tuesday at a state-owned utility where she is chairman declined to forward calls to her or give information about how to reach her.
Despite the Chinese Communist Party’s roots in socialism, party officials have leveraged their power to place family and friends in key positions of major industries such as energy, communications and banking, providing tremendous payoffs in what critics say comes at the expense of improving lives of the working masses.
In 2012, Bloomberg reported that the relatives of Chinese President Xi Jinping held investments in companies with total assets of $376 million, an 18 per cent indirect stake in a rare-earths company with $1.73 billion in assets, and a $20.2 million holding in a publicly traded technology company, although no assets were traced to Xi himself, his wife or their daughter.
Also in 2012, The New York Times reported that relatives of former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had controlled assets worth at least $2.7 billion.