More than a dozen family members of China's top political and military leaders are making use of offshore companies based in the British Virgin Islands, leaked financial documents reveal.
The brother-in-law of China's current president, Xi Jinping, as well as the son and son-in-law of former premier Wen Jiabao are among the political relations making use of the offshore havens, financial records show.
The Hong Kong office of Credit Suisse, for example, established the BVI company Trend Gold Consultants for Wen Yunsong, the son of Wen Jiabao, during his father's premiership — while PwC and UBS performed similar services for hundreds of other wealthy Chinese individuals.So far none of the political figures have been directly implicated in the arrangements. The investigation found a total of 21,000 accounts from Hong Kong and mainland China. It is clear that China is following the west on the path to income inequality.
The disclosure of China's use of secretive financial structures is the latest revelation from "Offshore Secrets", a two-year reporting effort led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which obtained more than 200 gigabytes of leaked financial data from two companies in the British Virgin Islands, and shared the information with the Guardian and other international news outlets.
The British Virgin Island have regularly been in the news as an off shore tax haven. The Chinese are just getting hip to the financial schemes that are being used by large US companies like Google to park huge piles of financial assets in low tax jurisdictions.