News / Asia

    Children of High Chinese Officials Turn Connections Into Riches

    By Susan Jackson and Kathy Guofu Feng

    Many people have become rich under China’s developing economy. But none as fabulously wealthy as the “Princelings” -- the children of high party officials.

    With great ceremony, China’s ruling Communist Party Congress is meeting to choose the next generation of leaders.

    Many of these men are the sons of former high party officials. They are called ‘princelings’ because they have achieved high political status largely due to their revolutionary lineage. As it is often the case, says magazine editor Hu Ping, many of them have also become very wealthy along the way.

    "They have many ways to get immensely rich, for example, they can monopolize the market and get government procurement contracts. Hu Haifeng, Hu Jintao’s son, is a good example here. He was once the president for Nuctech. In the end of 2006, Nuctech won a government deal to supply airports throughout China with scanners to detect liquid explosives.  In this way, they make a killing and it all looks legal. Inside trading is another way for them to get rich,” he said.

    A recent New York Times report says family members of China’s leader Wen Jiabao have accumulated more than $2.7 billion during his tenure as premier.  The wealth is hidden behind layers of investment vehicles in banking, insurance, precious stones, resorts and telecommunications.

    Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Hong Lei calls the report “libelous”. "Concerning the report smearing China’s reputation, it has ulterior motives,” the spokesman said.
     
    Other members of the politburo standing committee also have family members with strong business ties.

    Current Communist Party Chairman General Secretary Hu Jintao’s son-in-law was formerly the CFO of Sina.com, one of China’s largest web portals. Estimated wealth in 2003: between $35 million and $60 million.  

    Poltiburo Standing Committee member Li Changchun’s son is senior executive of China Mobile, a state-owned telecom giant.

    Earlier this year, Bloomberg News reported that the sister and other relatives of future Chinese president Xi Jinping have more than $100 million of family wealth.

    All this wealth comes despite the Party’s longtime proclamation that it represents the fundamental interests of the working class of China and premier Wen Jiabao's vow to crack down on corruption.

    "In regards to those corrupt members, it doesn’t matter what sector it happens in or who it involves, it doesn’t matter if they hold a high post, all must be severely punished under the law,” he said.

    Bo Xilai, son of a party elder, was expected to become a member of the next politburo Standing Committee after the leadership change. But he was thrown out of the party on corruption charges, only after his wife was convicted of murdering a British businessman after a business dispute.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
    November 15, 2012 10:50 PM
    A government's first job is to keep people safe and to make them rich. CCP did excellent job! Now the challenge is that can CCP keep working as efficient as she did in the last decade?
    Let me choose, bread or vote, I will choose bread first. Only when I secured my bread then I ask for vote. I wouldnt do the opposite.
    In Response

    by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
    November 21, 2012 12:44 PM
    @bill rich from Myanmar, you should say 2 billion Chinese got killed by CCP, isn't that more shocking?
    As me myself I never heard any of my relatives from my grandpa was killed by CCP. On the contrary, we still remember how many Chinese being killed by Japanese.
    Go to China if you have a chance and ask people if their lost any relatives by CCP's killing. You dont need to believe the propaganda, I dont either from both CCP or west media sides. But you can ask people.
    In Response

    by: Bill Rich from: Myanmar
    November 20, 2012 7:21 PM
    CCP is really doing an excellent job of protecting CCP members. In the last 60 years, CCP only managed to kill 80 million Chinese. I wish them luck in the next 60 years to do even better. May be 100 million.
    In Response

    by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
    November 19, 2012 12:22 AM
    @ chris gao, really? you want to go back to Mao time? China was evenly poor at that time, so you like it? Cuba, NK are evenly poor too, you like it?
    Maybe you like it, but I believe majority Chinese dont like being poor including me. That s why I believe majority Chinese still support CCP. When China becomes the first super power then we can start to talk about democracy in China.
    In Response

    by: chris gao from: China
    November 18, 2012 7:57 PM
    of course , CCP makes China the second largest economy now in the world. but just like MENG Zi the wise man said nearly a thousand years ago that "what i fear most is not poorness, but unevensness of the money distribution".......
    In Response

    by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
    November 17, 2012 6:39 PM
    @sun from Taipei. I live in Canada is because Canada is richer than China and I make more money here. It is easy to understand right? You see I care about money, that is exactly why I support communist party because she is making the country rich. I am sure when China is as rich as Canada there will be much less Chinese move to Canada. How many rich Kuwait people want to move to Canada? Even Kuwait is dictatorship.
    In Response

    by: Sun from: Taipei
    November 16, 2012 9:03 PM
    @Jonathan Huang, you must be very busy making excuses for what Communist China is doing (wrongdoings). If you love CCP so much (and if you really live in Canada), why not go back to China?
    What Chinese nationals have to realize is to get genuine democracy, not nominal democracy. "Wen Jiabao have accumulated more than $2.7 billion during his tenure as premier" --- CCP is the regime only for the privilege class.

    by: Aeris from: China
    November 15, 2012 2:18 AM
    Actually we people care not about their corrupt but that they are actually hurting and harming us with their supreme leadership power. Leaders first and all others second, it's why we students are forced to dance and sing miserably in heavy winds and snows just to please those damned leaders.

    by: longman from: canada
    November 14, 2012 9:29 PM
    The CCP has turned from "serving the people" to being served by people. Its members, especially those with high positions, have taken advantage of their status as well as their connections to benefit their own and their family and friends. It is corrupted and rotten.
    In Response

    by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
    November 15, 2012 4:09 PM
    longman, so you miss the old CCP? or you miss Mao zedong? Who was serving the people right? But the question is why USA fought with old CCP but is doing businesses with the new CCP who served by people? Does that mean US is evil too?

    by: poppy from: amerlia
    November 14, 2012 8:27 PM
    Well, how about that ! I thought it was the same all over the world, just a different media slant. Capitalism v communism. It is still the rich taking from the poor.

    by: ian from: sydney
    November 14, 2012 8:18 PM
    pointles article. who deosn't know that in china its not what you can do its who you know that counts.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora