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Xi's Purge Goes Global
China Seeks to Muzzle Chinese Exile
Beijing is taking Guo Wengui to court in the United States, seeking to muzzle a Chinese exile whose broadsides against a top official have rankled the party elite. Financial Times has more:

Guo Wengui, also known as Miles Kwok, has levelled personal accusations against Wang Qishan, China’s powerful anti-corruption tsar, from his home in Manhattan. The unproven, but gripping, allegations have transfixed the Chinese public as elite factions jockey for influence in the ruling Communist party.

In response, Beijing has entangled Mr Guo in at least five lawsuits, marking an unprecedented engagement with the US judicial system. That could prove an expensive distraction for Mr Guo, who relies on Twitter and overseas Chinese media for free airtime.

“No one anticipated that lawsuits against Mr Kwok would come out in such scale,” said Tao Jingzhou, of Dechert, a law firm in Beijing. Chinese companies have been defendants in the US but rarely initiated a complaint in a US court, he said.

Many believe that Mr Guo is attempting to drive a wedge between Mr Wang and Xi Jinping, China’s president.

Guo Wengui has been a thorn in Beijing’s side for months, lobbing explosive allegations against Wang Qishan in order to tarnish the leader of Xi’s anti-corruption purges. Many suspect Guo is being fed information by Wang’s rivals to undermine him before the Party Congress. For that reason, Guo should be seen as more an aggrieved, self-interested insider than a noble whistleblower. Regardless, his revelations have cast an unflattering spotlight on elite party machinations, while dragging the U.S. into a loaded factional battle in Beijing.

Earlier this year, in April, Voice of America abruptly cut short an interview with the tycoon after allegedly being pressured by Beijing. But China’s attempts to silence Guo have otherwise proven fruitless, while its arguments for extradition have fallen on deaf ears. The legal pursuit of Guo in the U.S. could signal a new tack, as Beijing seeks to bury Guo with litigation and catch him with violations of American law.

The dispute certainly could complicate Sino-American relations. Apart from the litigation, China is surely exploring diplomatic channels with the Trump administration to secure his return, and it is not lost on China’s leadership that Guo happens to be a Mar-a-Lago member. Whether the pressure on Guo in the U.S. will actually change the situation, however, is far from clear. In many ways, China’s attempt to silence a dissident oligarch in the U.S. is just a sign of basic patterns reasserting themselves, as the gaps between the U.S. and the illiberal giants of Eurasia continue to shape world politics in the Trump era.

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  • KremlinKryptonite

    Lol. At this point all you can do is laugh a little. Of course those of us following it very closely for years know well that there is quite a disparity between those “tigers” and even the “flies” nabbed from the rival Jiang Zemins faction versus Xi’s. hmmm.

    • Suzy Dixon

      Yeah and the “communist” country sure doesn’t have enough women in positions to even commit mass graft. If you run the numbers on 1,462 open cases, only 69 are women. And only 3 of those are “tigresses” [those who have at least a deputy ministerial or deputy provincial-level rank]

    • Andrew Allison

      No, no. All pigs are equal, but some are more equal than others doncha know [/grin] This inequality is perhaps the great irony of socialism.

  • RedWell

    Interesting update. In a way, I wonder if slowly channeling China into the legal system, as with channeling them into the US-designed international economic system, is a kind of win for civilized power politics. They are still authoritarian, but they are stuck playing by someone else’s rules.

  • ——————————

    I am sure the US will not send him back…but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is assasinated…or just disappears….

    • Andrew Allison

      I think it’s more subtle than that, i.e. that the Chinese recognize that there’s no way in hell the US would extradite him and that the Russian solution (assassination) would do more harm than good, and want to try and bankrupt him under the laws of the USA instead. They may, however, have misjudged the legal environment.

      • ——————————

        Hmmm…methinks you have some rather astute points there.

        And to your point about misjudging the legal environment…that could mean that they don’t realize that there are many lawyers here that might go wholly or partially pro bono just for the fame, or because they believe in or support what Wengui is doing….

        • Andrew Allison

          Thank you kind Sir. As to the lawyers, I think it far more likely to be the former than the latter.

  • Fat_Man

    I wonder what fancy white shoe law firm, that routinely backs liberal causes like transgender bathrooms, is filing the suits for the Chinese government.

    • Andrew Allison

      Yeah, it’s amazing how many more equal pigs are feeding at the progressive trough.

  • The more the Communist Party seeks to silence all opposition to its authority, the more dissent there will be in the long run. No dictatorship, however cleverly disguised, can last forever, such repression will inevitably cause a breaking point to be reached by the masses.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Freedom of Speech and long political campaigns, forces the public competition of political arguments. It may look ugly and chaotic, but the “Feedback of Competition” forces better governance. This means all Authoritarian Governments are uncompetitive with democracies. Despite 40 years of Western Uplifting, China has never spawned a world class brand name like: Sony, Toyota, Kia, Samsung, Intel, Microsoft, etc… For millennia people gained political power to get rich, this is still true in China.

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