CCP Bans Senior Officials from Holding Assets Abroad, Expert Suggests Hong Kong Officials Could Be Next

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has reportedly ordered a ban on spouses and children of its senior officials from holding assets abroad. Failure to do so could prevent the cadre from receiving a promotion within the party. Experts warn that such measures may also apply to Beijing-affiliated officials in Hong Kong in the foreseeable future.According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report, an internal notice by the CCP’s Central Organization Department outlined a directive prohibiting immediate families of “ministerial-level officials from holding—directly or indirectly—any real estate abroad or shares in entities registered overseas.” The ban would also bar senior officials and their immediate families from “setting up accounts with overseas financial institutions” except for legitimate reasons such as study or work, people familiar with the matter reportedly told WSJ. It is unclear whether the rules are retroactive, but some senior officials have reportedly sold their shares in entities registered abroad in compliance, sources told WSJ. In an exclusive TV interview, Shum Sei-hoi, a current affairs commentator and former producer of Hong Kong’s Asia Television, told The Epoch Times that the new directive could be Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s effort to snuff out those who are disobedient among the party elites. “If you were told to do something before the CCP’s 20th National Congress, you better obey, or else you’d risk being purged by the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection,” Shum said. At the CCP’s 20th National Congress, only months away, Xi plans to secure an unprecedented third term as leader of the Party. However, that does not come without challenges from within the Party amid the country’s ongoing economic, political, and social crises. On May 17 and 18, Xi mysteriously vanished from the front pages of China’s official media, replaced by Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Notably, three days earlier, on May 14, two major CCP mouthpieces published the full text of a speech Li delivered. These unusual moves are regarded as sensitive and subtle, triggering wide speculation about Xi’s health and the possibility that Li will replace Xi as the top leader in the upcoming twice-in-a-decade Party meeting in recent Chinese and other media reports. Shum said he would not rule out the CCP’s desperate need for capital amid the country’s ongoing economic crisis, adding that seizing party members’ foreign assets could potentially ease the regime’s cash crunch in the short term. Chung Kim-wah, a former assistant professor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said he would not rule out similar measures would eventually be applied in Hong Kong. In a TV interview with The Epoch Times, Chung pointed out that many CCP officials have turned state resources into personal properties and sent them abroad through various channels. Chung said a great deal of Russian assets in accounts outside the country were frozen due to heavy Western sanctions imposed aftter Russia invaded Ukraine, and of course, the CCP does not want to be in a similar situation. “[Xi] seriously wants to [fight corruption within the party], but knows that doing so would involve taking down the relatives of top-level officials, and is difficult to implement, especially with their funds transferred outside the country. However, he believes that [the new ban] would solve the problem,” Chung said. Regarding Hong Kong, Chung pointed out that many Beijing-affiliated government officials hold assets abroad, adding that the city officials may become the CCP’s next target to shed overseas assets. “Many Hong Kong dignitaries own real estate and send their children abroad. That includes Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung, former Chief Executive Carrie Lam, and former Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. If this measure was applied in Hong Kong, officials would likely resign instead of shedding their overseas assets. However, the CCP would have to go through additional steps to implement this measure in Hong Kong, at least in the short term.” A new research report by Hong Kong Watch (pdf), a human rights organization headquartered in the UK, found at least 9 Hong Kong officials and 12 members of Hong Kong’s “patriots only” legislature have property overseas, including in the UK, Canada, United States, Australia, Japan, and France. “All of the officials and lawmakers in question have pledged allegiance to Beijing and expressed their public support for the National Security Law, the ongoing crackdown on pro-democracy activists, the free press, and civil society, under the guise of combating ‘foreign forces,’” the report said. For example, the research found that Sophia Chan, Hong Kong’s secretary for food and health, owns three properties in London, UK, two of which are jointly owned by her sister, citing information from her financial declarations. Hong Kong Watch has called on legislatures worldwi

CCP Bans Senior Officials from Holding Assets Abroad, Expert Suggests Hong Kong Officials Could Be Next

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has reportedly ordered a ban on spouses and children of its senior officials from holding assets abroad. Failure to do so could prevent the cadre from receiving a promotion within the party. Experts warn that such measures may also apply to Beijing-affiliated officials in Hong Kong in the foreseeable future.

According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report, an internal notice by the CCP’s Central Organization Department outlined a directive prohibiting immediate families of “ministerial-level officials from holding—directly or indirectly—any real estate abroad or shares in entities registered overseas.”

The ban would also bar senior officials and their immediate families from “setting up accounts with overseas financial institutions” except for legitimate reasons such as study or work, people familiar with the matter reportedly told WSJ.

It is unclear whether the rules are retroactive, but some senior officials have reportedly sold their shares in entities registered abroad in compliance, sources told WSJ.

In an exclusive TV interview, Shum Sei-hoi, a current affairs commentator and former producer of Hong Kong’s Asia Television, told The Epoch Times that the new directive could be Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s effort to snuff out those who are disobedient among the party elites.

“If you were told to do something before the CCP’s 20th National Congress, you better obey, or else you’d risk being purged by the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection,” Shum said.

At the CCP’s 20th National Congress, only months away, Xi plans to secure an unprecedented third term as leader of the Party. However, that does not come without challenges from within the Party amid the country’s ongoing economic, political, and social crises.

On May 17 and 18, Xi mysteriously vanished from the front pages of China’s official media, replaced by Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Notably, three days earlier, on May 14, two major CCP mouthpieces published the full text of a speech Li delivered.

These unusual moves are regarded as sensitive and subtle, triggering wide speculation about Xi’s health and the possibility that Li will replace Xi as the top leader in the upcoming twice-in-a-decade Party meeting in recent Chinese and other media reports.

Shum said he would not rule out the CCP’s desperate need for capital amid the country’s ongoing economic crisis, adding that seizing party members’ foreign assets could potentially ease the regime’s cash crunch in the short term.

Chung Kim-wah, a former assistant professor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said he would not rule out similar measures would eventually be applied in Hong Kong.

In a TV interview with The Epoch Times, Chung pointed out that many CCP officials have turned state resources into personal properties and sent them abroad through various channels.

Chung said a great deal of Russian assets in accounts outside the country were frozen due to heavy Western sanctions imposed aftter Russia invaded Ukraine, and of course, the CCP does not want to be in a similar situation.

“[Xi] seriously wants to [fight corruption within the party], but knows that doing so would involve taking down the relatives of top-level officials, and is difficult to implement, especially with their funds transferred outside the country. However, he believes that [the new ban] would solve the problem,” Chung said.

Regarding Hong Kong, Chung pointed out that many Beijing-affiliated government officials hold assets abroad, adding that the city officials may become the CCP’s next target to shed overseas assets.

“Many Hong Kong dignitaries own real estate and send their children abroad. That includes Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung, former Chief Executive Carrie Lam, and former Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. If this measure was applied in Hong Kong, officials would likely resign instead of shedding their overseas assets. However, the CCP would have to go through additional steps to implement this measure in Hong Kong, at least in the short term.”

A new research report by Hong Kong Watch (pdf), a human rights organization headquartered in the UK, found at least 9 Hong Kong officials and 12 members of Hong Kong’s “patriots only” legislature have property overseas, including in the UK, Canada, United States, Australia, Japan, and France.

“All of the officials and lawmakers in question have pledged allegiance to Beijing and expressed their public support for the National Security Law, the ongoing crackdown on pro-democracy activists, the free press, and civil society, under the guise of combating ‘foreign forces,’” the report said.

For example, the research found that Sophia Chan, Hong Kong’s secretary for food and health, owns three properties in London, UK, two of which are jointly owned by her sister, citing information from her financial declarations.

Hong Kong Watch has called on legislatures worldwide to consider introducing audit powers to allow governments to quietly audit the assets of Hong Kong and Chinese officials in their respective countries, including the UK.


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Ellen Wan has worked for the Japanese edition of The Epoch Times since 2007.