China is the Ultimate Crony Capitalist State. There is the ruling class (a “communist” ruling class) and there is the rest of the country. Graft is built on graft. Bribe begets bribe. In a country of 1.3 billion that’s a lot of shadiness. And such a situation contributes to instability, economic and political.
The next day, another financial story involving members of China’s power elite broke. Months of forensic reporting conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) had uncovered evidence that families of at least eight former or current members of the Chinese Politburo Standing Committee — the now seven-man clique that runs the country — had set up shadowy offshore companies that could be used to muddy the origins of their wealth. Among the Chinese individuals mentioned in the Panama Papers — thus called because they are based on leaked information from a law firm based in the Central American country — are the brother-in-law of President Xi; the daughter-in-law of propaganda czar Liu Yunshan; the daughter of former Premier Li Peng, who helped orchestrate the 1989 Tiananmen massacre; and Gu Kailai, the murderous ex-wife of a onetime Politburo high-flyer who now sits in jail, along with her husband.