Once Powerful, Super-Rich Official Heads for Downfall in China

Zeng Qinghong (C).  Ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang (L) and one-time presidential aide Ling Jihua (R). (Image: Secret China)
Zeng Qinghong (C). Ex-security chief Zhou Yongkang (L) and one-time presidential aide Ling Jihua (R). (Image: Secret China)

Another top Chinese official is set to lose power, and has already had his extreme wealth exposed.

Zeng Qinghong, the regime’s former vice chair, was found to have fraudulently declared his assets four times, according to Hong Kong’s Chengming Magazine in its September edition.

The magazine also reported that the Zeng family assets reach over 20 billion yuan ($3.2 billion) in domestic and overseas properties, based on incomplete statistics from the Chinese Communist Party’s relevant state department.

Zeng’s family properties are widely spread in Hong Kong, Macau, Australia, New Zealand, and England, among other places.

Some of Zeng’s business buildings in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou cities are worth a market value of around S$1.2 billion; residency villas and apartments are worth $840 million to $1 billion; bonds and securities are worth US$1 to US$1.2 billion; and Zeng’s accounts in financial institutions have a balance of $210-242 million.

His properties in Australia are worth $2.5-3.2 million; in addition Zeng owns other foreign bonds, securities, and savings of unknown value.

Many overseas Chinese language media have reproduced the Chengming Magazine report, but Chinese authorities have not responded to it. Zeng’s family properties are widely spread in Hong Kong, Macau, Australia, New Zealand, and England, among other places.

Early in 2007, the mainland Chinese financial magazine Caijing revealed that Zeng Qinghong’s son, Zeng Wei, with his son’s friend bought 91.6 percent of the shareholdings of China’s large state-owned energy and real estate company Shandong Luneng Group with only US$600 million (3.7 billion yuan). The company is valued at $17.7 billion, with a net worth of $12 billion. At the time, Zeng was China’s vice chair and a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the highest leadership council in China.

Zeng Wei is notorious among the children of China’s political elites for showing off extreme wealth.

He bought a 106-year-old house in Sydney for $32.4 million, and replaced it with $4.5 million modernist one.

Following the purge in December 2014 of former security czar Zhou Yongkang, the Hong Kong media’s exposure of the Zeng Qinghong family assets may be a hint of Zeng possibly becoming the next “tiger”—high-ranking Chinese official—to be taken down in the ongoing “anti-corruption” campaign of Party chief Xi Jinping.

Zeng and Zhou are both close allies of former party leader Jiang Zemin. The majority of the sacked corrupt officials have been allies of Jiang’s faction.

Another Hong Kong magazine, Frontline, reported in December that Zeng Qinghong’s brother, Zeng Qinghuai, who only has a high school degree, was promoted to be an official and commissioner in Hong Kong under the regime’s Ministry of Culture. The Zeng brothers have formed a broad network of corruption in China’s culture and literary circles, according to the Frontline report.

Several anti-corruption attacks targeting high-end clubs and state-run Chinese Central Television—whereby, for example, officials bribed higher officials by prostituting female anchors—pointed toward Zeng Qinghong, the Frontline report also says.

Published with permission from Epoch Times

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