Luxury Homes Tie Chinese Communist Elite to Hong Kong’s Fate

Luxury Homes Tie Chinese Communist Elite to Hong Kong’s Fate

Luxury Homes Tie Chinese Communist Elite to Hong Kong’s Fate

Luxury Homes Tie Chinese Communist Elite to Hong Kong’s Fate

One of the leadership’s biggest exposures to Hong Kong is in real estate. Including Ms. Li, relatives of three of the top four members of China’s Communist Party have in recent years bought luxury homes in Hong Kong worth more than $51 million combined, a New York Times investigation shows.

Qi Qiaoqiao, the older sister of Xi Jinping, China’s president, started buying properties in Hong Kong as early as 1991, Hong Kong property records show. Her daughter, Zhang Yannan, owns a villa in Repulse Bay, which she bought in 2009 for $19.3 million, and at least five other apartments, the city’s property and company records indicate.

Wang Xisha, a former Deutsche Bank executive who is the daughter of Wang Yang, the No. 4 party leader, bought a $2 million home in Hong Kong in 2010, according to city property records.

The Communist Party has long been secretive about the riches of many of its leaders’ relatives, aware that such an accumulation of wealth could be seen as the elite abusing their privilege for personal gain. In Hong Kong, the party is also mindful that the presence of princelings could further fan resentment of Beijing.

Ms. Li, like many relatives of top Chinese officials, keeps a low profile.

In the mainland, there are few mentions of Mr. Li’s family in the party-controlled news media, and searches for his daughter’s name on social media sites yield minimal results. A trip to Nangoucun, his ancestral village in northern Hebei Province, offered little insight about his children.

But internal documents from Deutsche Bank obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and reviewed by The New York Times late last year referred to a woman with the same name in English and Chinese as the elder daughter of Li Zhanshu, now the No. 3 leader in China. Those documents were part of an internal inquiry stemming from an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into the bank’s politically connected hires.


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