China’s Elite Linked to Secret Offshore Entities

January 22nd, 2014

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has just published a new chapter in its on-going “Offshore Leaks” investigative series, this time focusing on the close relatives of China’s top leaders who have held secretive entities in offshore tax havens usually associated with hidden wealth.

Among the investigation’s key allegations:

  • Relatives of at least five current or former members of China’s Politburo Standing Committee – President Xi Jinping, former premiers Wen Jiabao and Li Peng, former President Hu Jintao and former leader Deng Xiaoping – have held companies in the Cook Islands or British Virgin Islands, the records obtained by ICIJ show.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers, UBS, Credit Suisse and other Western banks and accounting firms played a key role as middlemen in helping Chinese clients set up trusts and companies in tax havens.
  • China’s oil industry, which has been shaken by a series of corruption scandals, has extensive links to offshore centers. The country’s three big state-owned oil companies – CNPCSinopec andCNOOC – are linked to dozens of BVI companies that show up in the ICIJ files.
  • As the country has moved from an insular communist system to a socialist/capitalist hybrid, China has become a leading market for offshore havens that peddle secrecy, tax shelters and streamlined international deal making.

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Written by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

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