#Offshore accounts and “The China Syndrome” – On the one hand …

It’s generally agreed that either China or Canada would be a FATCA Terminator. The thinking of the Chinese Government is difficult to interpret.

On the one hand:

As this post from Withum Smith says:

China is joining the group of more than 50 developed and developing countries, including all G20 members, which are signatories to the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters. Through the Convention, China will participate in global efforts to combat tax avoidance and evasion by co-operating with other states in the assessment and collection of taxes.

On the other hand:

As is reported by CBCNews.ca:

Close relatives of China’s top leaders have used secretive offshore companies in tax havens that helped shroud the Communist elite’s wealth, according to a massive cache of leaked financial records, posing a formidable challenge for President Xi Jinping, the country’s avowed anti-corruption leader.

The confidential files include details of a real estate company co-owned by Xi’s brother-in-law, as well as British Virgin Islands corporations set up by former premier Wen Jiabao’s son and son-in-law, plus dozens of more cases of people tied to high-level officials.

The discovery could incense ordinary citizens in China, where senior Communist officials used to enjoy a modestly better living but nothing close to the extravagant wealth required to stash money offshore, said Fred Bild, Canada’s ambassador in Beijing from 1990 to 1994. “Now, the income gap between the elite and the masses is huge…. You have hundreds of millions of people that are still living on very low income and they will be outraged.”

The revelations are the latest from the huge trove of documents leaked to the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and first reported on last April in partnership with media outlets worldwide.

CBC News has exclusive access in Canada to the files, which show that nearly 22,000 people with addresses in mainland China and Hong Kong are involved in offshore dealings in locales such as the British Virgin Islands and the Cook Islands, places usually associated with hidden wealth. Among them are some of China’s most powerful men and women — including at least 15 of China’s richest, members of the National People’s Congress and executives from state-owned companies entangled in corruption scandals.

“The political families and the elites never assumed that you could have such a public list of names coming out,” said Yves Tiberghien, a political science professor at the University of British Columbia and director of its Institute of Asian Research.

Tiberghien compared this latest leak to the classified U.S. intelligence files disclosed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. “There was no assumption that this could come out. So that’s the big shock.”

The one thing is that is certain is that the world has become a playground for government officials and the global elite who pay them.

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