China bans government elites from holding real estate assets overseas

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (Getty)

That’s what Xi said.

The Chinese Communist Party bars its core members and their families from holding real estate assets overseas, which it hopes will help protect the government from possible sanctions from other countries.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a notice sent by the party’s Central Organization Organization “prohibits the spouses and children of cabinet-level officials from owning – directly or indirectly – overseas real estate or shares in entities registered abroad”.

These officials and their families would also be prohibited from setting up accounts with foreign financial institutions unless they have immediate business in the region, such as education or work, according to the report.

It’s unclear whether the rules, released last March, are retroactive, but some officials have already sold shares they held in foreign companies to comply.

The new rules come as the United States and other Western countries have used sanctions targeting the funds of Russian officials, businessmen and oligarchs to punish Moscow leaders for their attack on Russia. neighboring Ukraine. The ban is believed to have been put in place to minimize the political risk if such sanctions were directed against China.

“Leading cadres, especially senior cadres, should pay attention to family discipline and ethics,” Xi reportedly told the party’s top disciplinary agency in January, adding that his officials should “lead by example.” by properly managing their spouses and children, by being a dedicated person”. and do things right.

Public servants are now being asked to sign pledges proclaiming they are following the new rules.

Xi has long claimed to fight corruption and the appearance of wrongdoing by officials in China through campaigns such as the 2014 one that targeted 3,200 so-called “naked officials” who had moved children and spouses to overseas and accumulated overseas assets.

China does not prohibit the country’s citizens from investing in offshore companies or even setting up their own, according to the report.

[ Wall Street Journal] — Vince DiMiceli

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