Richest Chinese Own Land, Bank Offshore
|January 25, 2014||Posted by Staff under Corruption, Inequality / Concentration|
These two excerpts of the BBC on rich Chinese are of 2014 Jan 23 by Celia Hatton and 2013 Spt 11.
Report Reveals Offshore Dealings of China’s Elite
More than $1tn in illicit funds flowed out of China from 2002-2011 via the secret offshore banking dealings of thousands of well-connected people in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, including China’s richest woman, Yang Huiyan, and the brother-in-law of China’s President, Xi Jinping.
The yuan worth over a trillion dollars often comes from criminal activity, tax evasion, or state corruption.
This ICIJ report has not been mentioned in state media reports and has been censored on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.
Strictly speaking, it is not illegal for a Chinese citizen to set up a company in an offshore tax haven, like the Cayman Islands or the British Virgin Islands. Chinese entities often set up offshore parent companies in such locations.
According to Chinese law, individuals can exchange just $50,000 (£30,000) worth of Chinese yuan a year into another currency.
However, wealthy Chinese have developed a variety of techniques to skirt those laws. They trade their yuan for the harder currency of a foreign investor. Or visit Macau, an autonomous region south of China, where they gamble in casinos, buying chips in official yuan while cashing in chips for Hong Kong dollars, and in jewelry stores buying expensive jewelry with a credit card then returning the jewelry for cash.
China Rich List Topped by Property Developer Wang Jianlin
The founder of property developer Dalian Wanda has topped an annual ranking of the richest Chinese for the first time. Wang Jianlin saw his personal fortune double to $22bn (£14bn).
Chinese beverage producer Zong Qinghou, who was top last year, was pushed to second place with a fortune of $18.7bn.
China’s richest woman, Yang Huiyan, is ranked fifth on the list with $8.3bn.
The the number of Chinese worth at least $1bn has now risen to 315, compared to a decade ago when there were none.
Traditionally, China’s wealthy have made their money from manufacturing. But this year, one in four of the 1,021 richest people made their fortune from real estate.
Property prices in China have risen strongly over the past few years, despite government efforts to cool the market down.
Ed. Notes: Before communism, the rich were the large landowners. Now after communism, the rich are once again becoming the owners of land, not so much agricultural land but residential land in that oh-so crowded.
In a formerly communist country, indeed in every country, the value of land is a commonwealth. Given their history, the Chinese may be more sensitive to that moral position and could any time demand that their government recover the socially-generated value of land and resources. Before that day befalls, the current recipients of all those natural “rents” evacuate their undue fortunes to foreign accounts for safekeeping and later spending on a lifestyle of opulent luxury.
If the Chinese do geonomize, and make their standard of living comfortable for all Chinese, they could lead the world to universal economic justice.