China and its Discontents

#1 Reason Why Political Reform in China is a Far-Off Prospect

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Duan Weihong, a wealthy businesswoman whose company, Taihong, was the investment vehicle for the Ping An shares held by the prime minister’s mother and other relatives, said the investments were actually her own. Ms. Duan, who comes from the prime minister’s hometown and is a close friend of his wife, said ownership of the shares was listed in the names of Mr. Wen’s relatives in an effort to conceal the size of Ms. Duan’s own holdings.

“When I invested in Ping An I didn’t want to be written about,” Ms. Duan said, “so I had my relatives find some other people to hold these shares for me.”

But it was an “accident,” she said, that her company chose the relatives of the prime minister as the listed shareholders — a process that required registering their official ID numbers and obtaining their signatures. Until presented with the names of the investors by The Times, she said, she had no idea that they had selected the relatives of Wen Jiabao.

The New York Times’ expose on Wen Jiabao’s family fortune is nothing but incredible, but the details are just completely absurd and at times hilarious. For example, if you were a shell investor for Wen Jiabao’s family, why in the world would you ever allow yourself to be interviewed by the New York Times?! The above passage is mind-blowing.

Written by Will

October 25th, 2012 at 7:48 pm