Patrick Gower: 'Bill Liu' linked to Chinese corruption scandal
Xu Ming (left), Bill Liu and Bo Xilai (right)
Opinion by Political Reporter Patrick Gower
Now here's a twist - the mystery Chinese millionaire, Bill Liu/Yong Ming Yan, is linked to an even more controversial Chinese billionaire caught up in a massive political scandal that is rocking the Communist Party to its core.
That link is through a man called Xu Ming - one of richest men in China.
Xu Ming is big time - touted as a potential Chinese Finance Minister before a foiled coup plot.
And Liu/Yan is apparently so close he even bought Xu Ming into New Zealand for a visit at one point.
Now political scandals don't get much bigger than the one going on in China that Xu Ming is connected to.
It's all about fallen Chinese Communist Party high-flyer Bo Xilai touted as a future leader of the Communist Party - stripped of his post while his wife is probed for the murder of a British national.
And Xu Ming was one of Bo Xilai's closest allies.
According to this Wall Street Journal article, Xu Ming has been missing since late March - amid reports he was arrested for corruption.
Documents I obtained under the Official Information Act show Liu boasted of his connections to Xu Ming back in 2005:
"In November 2005 he will host two very important businessmen from China. One of the visitors will be Mr. Xu Ming whom is listed as the 8th wealthiest person in China with a reported wealth of over $1.5 billion dollars."
This was all in a submission to the New Zealand Immigration Service to try and prevent his residency being revoked.
The links with Xu Ming raise some interesting questions:
- Why was Bill Liu/Yong Ming Yan so fearful of going back to China if he had connections with people so close to the very top of the Communist Party?
- Why was Bill Liu /Yong Ming Yan - who claims to be a leader of the Chinese Democracy movement - prepared to host such people out in New Zealand?
It is - like much of this case - incongruous.
If there is one thing David Shearer can take solace in, the Shane Jones/Labour Party involvement in the Liu/Yan citizenship scandal is on a slightly smaller scale than that tearing up the Communist Party.