Tags: China | guo wengui | billionaire | fugative | corruption | steve bannon

Chinese Dissident Billionaire Says He Is Fighting for Freedom

the china national flag waves atop a flag pole against a cloud-peppered sky
(Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 31 December 2018 04:25 PM

Chinese real estate billionaire Guo Wengui, also called Miles Kwok, is said to be one of the China's most-wanted fugitives.

But he says he is a freedom fighter seeking to end Communist Party rule over China's 1.4 billion people.

Giving a rare interview from his luxurious $67.5 million Fifth Avenue penthouse in New York City, the New York Post reports Guo is seeking to expose corruption in China's government.

Meanwhile, China's Communist Party has corruption claims of its own against him, but he is remaining defiant.

The party "wants to break me," Guo told the Post's Jennifer Gould Keil from his luxury Sherry-Netherland apartment, which overlooks New York's Central Park. "I don't crumble under pressure. I get stronger from it."

Beijing has frozen Guo's holdings inside China, but he said he still has plenty from outside investment funds and money from his supporters.

"I have 60 custom-made Brioni suits and hand-made Louis Vuitton shoes," he told the Post.

"I don't care about things. I'm a Buddhist," Guo said. "But the CCP wanted to take everything away from me — my wealth, my freedom, and my dignity. All of this helps show that they can't."

Some believe Guo is being targeted for his support of former top Chinese intelligence official Ma Jian who was sentenced to life in prison last week.

Ma claimed he accepted $15.9 million in bribes from Guo in order to expedite the billionaire real estate developer's projects.

Guo denies the allegations and told the Post the case has prompted increased death threats against him by the Chinese government in an effort to silence him.

Ma's arrest has been seen as a wider crackdown by Chinese President Xi Jinping to consolidate power and jail his political opponents.

The moves have been effective. Earlier in 2018, the party Congress declared Xi president for life, allowing him to stay beyond the end of his term in 2023.

Beijing is also moving aggressively against all groups not controlled by the state.

"The ruling Chinese Communist Party has undertaken the most comprehensive attempt to manipulate and control — or destroy — religious communities since Chairman Mao Zedong made the eradication of religion a goal of his disastrous Cultural Revolution half a century ago," Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., wrote recently in The Washington Post.

A 2018 Congressional report slammed China for systematic persecution against Christians.

"If you don't comport with the Communist Party principle about everything you do to the ideology of Xi Jinping, you are going to be arrested, you are going to be tortured, and in many cases you are going to be killed," Smith told Baptist Press.

Billionaire Guo is under an Interpol "red notice" provisional arrest warrant, at China's request. But the Chinese government and the United States do not have an extradition agreement.

Despite repeated efforts to lobby the Trump administration to extradite Guo, President Trump has not moved to do so.

At the same time China slapped Guo with an Interpol warrant, a number of private businesses linked to China hit the billionaire with a series of civil lawsuits, Forbes reported.

Guo said, while he is a virtual prisoner in his penthouse, he has never felt more free than he does now that he is in the United States, because he can "trust the country and the system."

Guo seems to revel in his freedom. In December, he announced he was creating a $100 million fund "to investigate corruption and aid people they deem victims of Chinese government persecution." The fund is to be administered by Steve Bannon, a former top White House adviser to President Trump, according to The New York Times.

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Chinese real estate billionaire Guo Wengui, also called Miles Kwok, says he is a freedom fighter seeking to end Communist Party rule over China's 1.4 billion people.
guo wengui, billionaire, fugative, corruption, steve bannon
Monday, 31 December 2018 04:25 PM
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