In mid-April, Guo Wengui, a property tycoon currently living in New York who has suspected ties to China’s intelligence apparatus, began to release allegations of corruption and division among the top levels of the Communist Party leadership. Beijing responded by marshaling counteraccusations of corruption against Guo, obtaining an Interpol “red notice” for his arrest, and threatening “serious consequences” for failure to control online content related to the “highly sensitive political event.”
For now, Guo is holding back promised evidence in order to “let the bullets fly for a while.” In the absence of such proof, English-language coverage has been relatively sparse in recent weeks. The New York Times’ Michael Forsythe alluded to the currently limited verifiability of Guo’s claims on Twitter in April, commenting that “There’s so much more to this story. […] So much left unsaid, untweeted.” But the affair has not gone away: Guo has kept up a steady stream of updates on Western-based social media, and adoption of his favored catchphrases on platforms within China shows that these have found their way through the Great Firewall. A recent brief report from the Hong Kong-based, Apple Daily-affiliated Next Digital sums up Guo’s recent accusations involving “naked officials” and hidden fractures in the supposed unity of the Party leadership. Translated by Josh Rudolph:
Guo Wengui says he will hold a global news conference at which he’ll announce details of certain high-level CCP stashing mistresses and love children in Australia, proven by DNA he’s collected. Even though he’s wanted as a criminal, Guo’s words continue to make shockwaves.
In a personally released video, Guo revealed that “among the samples we gathered, one was from a Politburo member’s Australia-based love child. While gathering [the love child’s] DNA a problem arose. It made everyone crazy, but finally we resolved it. The power of that force [the CCP] is really too much. Also, the DNA can be used as evidence: I hope that my global news conference can show that this is legally valid evidence.”
Guo Wengui also pointed to many high officials stashing mistresses and fathering love children abroad. In the short clip, he revealed: “In Australia there are some 600 mistresses and illegitimate children that have settled there long-term. A lot of them aren’t in the U.S. Let’s be clear, there are a few exceptions in Japan and New Zealand, but the vast majority are in Australia. That’s our battlefield. I spent tens of millions there just last year on the investigation!”
From the U.S., Guo Wengui previously made explosive allegations of a high-level CCP power struggle: that President Xi Jinping doesn’t trust Central Commission for Discipline Inspection secretary Wang Qishan, and secretly sent the Vice Minister of Public Security Fu Zhenghua to investigate Wang Qishan and his family’s overseas assets. There are some who want to avoid Guo Wengui’s continuing allegations, as they could influence the 19th Party Congress. Xi Jinping and Wang Qishan along with Political and Legal Committee secretary Meng Jianzhu have formed a united front, a unified official line to not mention Guo Wengui, and to severely punish Guo Wengui’s domestic protective umbrella.
Aside from the former Ministry of State Security vice-director, Guo Wengui’s protectors also include Hebei Provincial Party Committee Political and Legal secretary Zhang Yue, as well as Henan Provincial Party Committee’s Wang Youjie.
Guo may never return to the mainland, but his life in the U.S. is very comfortable. Along with his daily fitness regimen, he drinks expensive spirits, smokes high-grade Cuban cigars, and recently went to a gallery to buy art that he plans to put in his grand mansion in Hong Kong’s South Bay. On Twitter he said: “I just bought dozens of modern metal plate oil paintings. They’re amazing, I bought them all. Being wealthy feels great!” […] [Chinese]
Anne Henochowicz has translated more of Guo’s comments in the May 6 video from which Apple Daily quoted:
Dear Twitter followers and online friends, hello. This is Wengui’s May 6 “all’s-well” video report. Once again I didn’t sleep well last night, because our Australian team went to gather [samples]. Among the samples we gathered, one was from a Politburo member’s Australia-based love child. While gathering [the love child’s] DNA a problem arose. It made everyone crazy, but finally we resolved it. The power of that force [the CCP] is really too much.
[…] Our team in Australia has already worked on this for about a year. We’ve got around several dozen people’s DNA. And they’re undergoing a valid, legally valid medical inspection. And we have obtained records of their addresses, the movement of their wealth, and their social connections. And the litigant is carrying on this inquiry, talking to them. It’s spoken evidence, evidence from correspondence, along with medical evidence, which will be valid legal evidence in the U.S.
Not to mention this bank statement. Now, whatever they’re going to say about this will be useless. Recently I’ve seen, you’ve seen this rebuttal that what we have is “useless.” It’s incredibly stupid. Because these so-called rebuttals, going forward, when this goes public, they will simply be proof that they have conned the country and the common people. This is what matters.
So I’ve been saying all along, let the bullets fly for a while, because that’s the only way to make the enemy show his fear, to make the thieves stealing the nation show their fear, to make them show their privilege and their arrogance. Their expressions and their actions will become our evidence. And they will become the most important part of the facts. If they don’t do or say anything, you can’t really do anything, right? Now, we need to take this evidence, and these facts, to prove that they’re thieves who are stealing the nation.
Now, a lot of people are deceiving themselves right now. I get them all too well. I was with them all those years. If they grabbed this guy tomorrow, they’d be kneeling all teary-eyed in front of some of the leadership. They’d swear they were telling the truth. Just like that, yep, just like that. But after he was detained, it would become fact. Yep, this is how all the corrupt traitors are. Because all they say are lies. It’s their specialty. Their profession is to lie. If our officials couldn’t lie, they wouldn’t become judges, or bureau chiefs, at the national level, they wouldn’t even make it to the section level.
It’s simple. What is communism? It is utopianism. And what is utopianism? Utopianism is the doctrine of lies! It’s the doctrine of cheats. Of course they have to lie. This is how I would talk to standing committee members and Politburo leadership. I’d ask, “Don’t you get tired of lying all the time?” And they said, “We’re also actors. It’s our job. And our lies have been standardized. As long as you stick to the script, you’ll be fine.”
So there’s nothing you can do. It was right to ask them back then, and it’s really pathetic.
[…] Yesterday in Australia, this one guy even came and offered money. He said, “We can give you a million dollars right now. You just give this stuff to us, and then you sign something, and that guarantees that you don’t have [additional copies], and that you will never bring forth any testimony.”
Think about it. Our leaders send this pig of a lackey to deal with you. Everything you said was videotaped and recorded. On the other hand, they pull out a million dollars. I spent money on my team, you know. What makes you think I don’t have other means? Not only have you left this evidence, you’ve also confirmed that your illegitimate children and your mistress are all in Australia.
In Australia there are some 600 mistresses and illegitimate children that have settled there long-term. A lot of them aren’t in the U.S. Let’s be clear, there are a few exceptions in Japan and New Zealand, but the vast majority are in Australia. That’s our battlefield. I spent tens of millions there just last year on the investigation! Now it’s basically done, because according to American law, and the requirements for proof, we’ve supplied some supplementary evidence. Do they think they can wipe all that out? [Chinese]
Beijing’s position in response, meanwhile, is illustrated by an unsigned April 30 commentary on the Hong Kong-based Oriental Daily News’ Dongwang news portal. The organization has a record of publishing pieces that signal Beijing’s stances. Translated by Samuel Wade:
Every day brings new revelations from former subordinates in the corruption scandal surrounding mainland businessman and overseas fugitive Guo Wengui, who is the subject of an Interpol Red Notice calling for his capture. High level officials in Beijing have reportedly confirmed that Guo Wengui has been engaged in inflammatory activities to “save my life, save my money, and gain revenge” ahead of the Communist Party’s 19th Congress. The political context is complex. The main instigator is Guo’s protectors within China, who aim not only to influence the power struggle at the 19th Congress, but even more to escape the anti-corruption drive. CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping, Central Commission for Discipline Inspection secretary Wang Qishan, and Central Political and Legal Committee secretary Meng Jianzhu already have this plot completely under control, and have unanimously agreed that Guo’s domestic backers must be severely and uncompromisingly punished.
Reports indicate that the current central government has comprehensively intensified the deep investigation into Guo Wengui’s domestic criminal activities, both political and economic. Former vice minister for State Security Ma Jian, as well as former Hebei provincial Party standing committee member and Political and Legal Committee secretary Zhang Yue, among others, have already revealed much of the situation to central authorities. Guo’s confidant and former founder and executive director of Zhengquan, Qu Long, currently under escort from prison in Hebei’s Zhangjiakou to Beijing, is cooperating to advance the investigation.
Qu Long had already fallen out with Guo Wengui because of unbearable pressure from Guo. After he reported Guo’s crimes to the authorities, Ma Jian and Zhang Yue intervened on Guo’s behalf, ordering the Chengde Public Security Department to arrest Qu for illegal possession of firearms. Qu was later sentenced to 15 years in prison for using his job to misappropriate funds. Throughout this, he was imprisoned in Hebei.
Central authorities have already identified all of Guo Wengui’s domestic protectors, and established what benefits Guo gave them in return. Around ten people have confessed to central authorities that they received benefits from Guo Wengui, and drawn a firm line between themselves and him. Wang Qishan indicated at a recent internal meeting that central authorities are united on the Guo Wengui issue: tigers and flies who received benefits from him will be severely punished according to the law.
Beijing-based political observers reckon that this Guo Wengui affair is a meticulously orchestrated political strategy by his protectors within China. Central authorities are not at all worried about his disclosures from outside China, but are focused on the investigation into these domestic protectors. This suggests that their next step will be to adopt strong tactics to broaden comprehensive opposition to Guo, and may take a range of measure to restrict his activities. [Chinese]
China Digital Times