Beijing reportedly instructed the Communist Party’s elites to sell their overseas holdings in order to avoid Russia-like sanctions.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), seeking to insulate the country’s top brass from Western sanctions like those imposed on Russia over the Ukraine conflict, has allegedly issued a directive discouraging senior officials from buying assets abroad.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this new policy will prevent CCP elites with significant overseas holdings from being promoted. This restriction applies to all assets directly or indirectly owned by officials of the high party, as well as those belonging to their spouses and children.
The CCP’s Central Organization Department is said to have issued the new investment restriction in an internal notice in March, weeks after Russia launched its military offensive against Ukraine. The report states that ministerial level party leaders won’t be allowed to hold foreign assets like stocks or real estate.
Non-essential accounts will not be allowed to open in foreign financial institutions. For instance, a leader’s college-age child would be able to hold an account in a local bank while attending a foreign university, but he or she wouldn’t be allowed to park cash in Singapore or Switzerland as a safe haven.
Xi Jinping, the Chinese president has in the past blasted corruption and lavish wealth displays by CCP officials. A 2014 report citing leaked records, alleged that close relatives of party elites, including the son of former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and a brother-in-law of Xi, had allegedly set up overseas corporations to hide assets.
US and allies have placed severe sanctions on Russia to isolate and punish it for the Ukraine offensive. Some sanctions have been applied to individuals including Kremlin officials as well as wealthy businessmen.
Seizing Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine illegal – US
President Joe Biden has sought ways to sell the confiscated assets of Russians, such as yachts and real estate, so the money can be used to help fund Ukraine’s reconstruction. Last month, the US House of Representatives approved a bill that would allow liquidation of these assets in order raise money for reconstruction and assistance for Ukraine. Janet Yellen (US Treasury Secretary) stated on Wednesday that the United States would not legally seize assets of Russian central banks to rebuild Ukraine.