Panama Papers: Who in China's Communist party elite is implicated?

Members of China's powerful Politburo Standing Committee at the National People's Congress in Beijing on March 16.
Members of China's powerful Politburo Standing Committee at the National People's Congress in Beijing on March 16. PHOTO: REUTERS

Eight of China's Communist party elite whose family members used offshore companies have been identified in a trove of leaked documents on hidden wealth, known as Panama Papers.

The disclosures by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) risk new embarrassment for the Chinese authorities, already infuriated by the organisation's leaks of the documents - from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca - which have also implicated the powerful and wealthy in other countries.

Here are the eight former or current members of the Chinese Communist Party's powerful Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) who were implicated:

1. Mao Zedong, China's strongman from the founding of modern China in 1949 till his death in 1976


A visitor walking past photos of late communist leader Mao Zedong at an exhibition in Beijing on March 1. PHOTO: AFP

- Grandson-in-law Chen Dongsheng, head of a life insurance firm, was sole director and shareholder of Keen Best International set up in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in 2011.

2. Hu Yaobang, general secretary of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from 1982 to 1987; died in 1989

Son Hu Dehua was shareholder, director and beneficial owner of Fortalent International Holdings, which was incorporated in the BVI in 2003 using a traditional courtyard home, where his father lived while he was party chief, as the registered address.

3. Li Peng, China's premier from 1987 to 1998


Li Peng. PHOTO: ST FILE 

Daughter Li Xiaolin and son-in-law own Cofic Investments, a British Virgin Islands BVI company incorporated in 1994.

4. Zeng Qinghong, China's vice-president from 2003 to 2008


Zeng Qinghong (left) and Jia Qinglin. PHOTO: ST FILE 

Brother Zeng Qinghuai was director of a company, China Cultural Exchange Association, which was incorporated first in Niue and then re-domiciled in 2006 in Samoa.

5. Jia Qinglin, retired fourth-ranked leader and top political adviser till 2012

Granddaughter Jasmine Li Zidan was owner of two offshore firms - Harvest Sun Trading and Xin Sheng Investments - with the first registered in 2010 when she was a freshman at Stanford University.

6. Zhang Gaoli, executive Vice-Premier and seventh-ranked member of the current elite Politburo Standing Committee (PSC)


Zhang Gaoli. PHOTO: EPA 

Son-in-law Lee Shing Put was a shareholder of three BVI firms: Zennon Capital Management, Sino Reliance Networks Corporation and Glory Top Investments.

7. Liu Yunshan, propaganda czar and fifth-ranked member of the current PSC


Liu Yunshan. PHOTO: AFP  

Daughter-in-law Jia Liqing was the director and shareholder of Ultra Time Investments, a company incorporated in the BVI in 2009.

8. Xi Jinping, Chinese President, CCP chief, and head of the current seven-member PSC


Chinese President Xi Jinping. PHOTO: AFP 

Brother-in-law Deng Jiagui acquired offshore firm Supreme Victory Enterprises via Mossack Fonseca in 2004. In 2009, it helped him set up two BVI firms: Best Effect Enterprises and Wealth Ming International. Supreme Victory was dissolved in 2007, and the other two companies became dormant by 2012 when Mr Xi became CCP chief.

SOURCE: INTERNATIONAL CONSORTIUM OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS