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The Imprisoned Chinese Billionaires Wang youqun, May 15, 2021 Commentary On Apri

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The Imprisoned Chinese Billionaires

Wang youqun, May 15, 2021


On April 15, 2021, in testimony (pdf) before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Hearing on “An Assessment of the CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party) Economic Ambitions, Plans, and Metrics of Success,” Miles Yu, the former China policy adviser to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, spoke about the Chinese economy and the CCP’s strict control over financial resources, which ultimately endangers successful entrepreneurs.

“In the past 15 years alone, no fewer than 27 Chinese billionaires have been arrested—the charges range from the bizarre to the absurd,” Yu said.

Indeed, Sun Dawu, a well-known private entrepreneur in Hebei Province, is the latest billionaire to be arrested by the CCP.

Sun Dawu May Be Guilty of Words

On April 21, Sun was formally arrested and charged with eight crimes including illegally taking public deposits, gathering crowds to attack state agencies, and illegally occupying agricultural land.

In the early morning of Nov. 11, 2020, the police arrested a total of 28 executives of Dawu Group and its subsidiaries. Nearly all of Sun’s family members—his wife, two sons, and two daughters-in-law—were arrested. The group’s 28 subsidiaries were officially taken over, and almost all of the company’s assets were frozen.

Sun, 66, founded Dawu Group in 1985. The company started with 1,000 chickens and 50 pigs, and by 1995 had become one of the 500 largest private enterprises in China. Dawu Group has more than 9,000 employees, $312 million (2 billion yuan) in fixed assets, and an annual output valued at more than $467 million (3 billion yuan).

Prior to his arrest this year, Sun was sentenced by a CCP court in 2003 to three years in prison, four years of probation, and fined $15,500 (100,000 yuan) for illegally taking public deposits. Dawu Group was fined $46,500 (300,000 yuan).

The real reason for Sun’s arrest this time may be that he made some comments that were offensive to the CCP. For example, in May last year, Sun expressed his admiration online for rights-defense lawyers such as Xu Zhiyong. Sun posted on social media in May 2020, that these lawyers had “shown the victims a little bright light, let them maintain a little faith in the law, and lit up their hope of survival,” according to Voice of America’s Chinese edition.

Xu Zhiyong, one of the founders of Gongmeng, or Open Constitution Initiative, and a Chinese civil rights activist and lawyer, had been arrested in February 2020 for publishing a letter urging Xi Jinping to abdicate and was accused of “subversion of state power.”

Secret Execution of Zeng Chengjie

Zeng Chengjie, a Hunan Province entrepreneur, was the founder of Hunan Sanguan Property Development Company. He was arrested on Nov. 11, 2008, for allegedly “illegally taking public deposits,” and was secretly executed on July 12, 2013. Neither his lawyer nor his family were notified about the execution.

On May 27, 2013, Zeng’s lawyer Wang Shaoguang met with him at the detention center. This would become their last meeting. Zeng said, “Lawyer Wang, I feel my case will not possibly win, because there are very powerful forces behind the scenes that are controlling the ruling of the case. Even if you can get me a reprieve, they will want me dead anyway.”

Zeng was executed on July 12, 2013. The next day, Wang issued an urgent statement and declared that he would take legal responsibility for any falsehood in his statement.

According to Wang’s statement, private financing in western Hunan was supported by the local governments, and 90 percent of local families had participated in the financing. He said that Zeng’s financing agreements were actually notarized by the notary office.

Wang also said that Zeng’s assets, before his arrest, were worth $367 million (2.4 billion yuan), while the unreturned financing was only $31 million (202 million yuan). However, the local government forcibly sold Zeng’s assets for only $58 million (380 million yuan) to Caixin, an asset management company wholly owned by the local government.

Wang said that Zhou Qiang, President of the CCP’s Supreme Court, was governor of Hunan at the time of the case. Zhou was also Party Secretary of the provincial party committee when the Hunan High Court sentenced Zeng to death. The Hunan High Court issued its second instance verdict on Feb. 19, 2012, but it was not approved by the Supreme Court until after Zhou was promoted to president of the court in March 2013, and then the verdict was approved in less than three months.

Based on Wang’s statement, it’s fair to say Zeng’s case was a big injustice. Zhou is the principal person who should be held accountable for Zeng’s murder.

Chongqing Entrepreneur Li Jun Forced to Flee China

Li Jun was the chairman of a large property company, Junfeng Group, with net assets of over $617 million (4 billion yuan) until the company was taken by CCP cadres.

From 2007 to 2012, Bo Xilai, then-secretary of the CCP’s party committee of Chongqing, a major metropolitan city in southwestern China, was launching a campaign in the city called “singing red songs and striking the black society.” During this massive Mao-style campaign, Bo arrested a number of private entrepreneurs and confiscated hundreds of billions of assets from them. Li Jun was one of the entrepreneurs who was arrested.

On Dec. 9, 2011, 20 people in the Junfeng Group received guilty verdicts. Li’s older brother was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment and a fine of over $30 million (200 million yuan) for five crimes including organizing and leading organizations like the black society. The other 19 people were sentenced to terms of imprisonment from 14 months up to 13 years.

The overall verdict says in part: “The property and its proceeds amassed by the triad-like organization as well as the tools used to commit the crimes shall be recovered, confiscated, and handed over to the state treasury.” This means that the Junfeng Group, which Li had worked hard to build for more than 20 years, had been taken away under the guise of cracking down on criminal organizations.

Li himself had been arrested in 2009 and was acquitted. On Oct. 23, 2010, one day before he was to be arrested for the second time, he fled to Hong Kong.

Jiang Weiping, a veteran Chinese media professional now living in Canada, wrote on his own webpage on Feb. 13, 2013, that Li contacted him and sent him copies of his evidence. After Jiang and his friend, a Canadian lawyer, studied and assessed the materials, Jiang believed that this was an unjust case set up by Bo Xilai, then-party chief of Chongqing, and Wang Lijun, then head of Chongqing Public Security Bureau and chief commander of the striking the black society campaign.(please visit the link below for the full article)

Wang Youqun graduated with a Ph.D. in Law from the Renmin University of China. He once worked as an aide and copywriter for Wei Jianxing (1931–2015), a member of the CCP Politburo Standing Committee from 1997 to 2002.

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