Papers leaked from Mossack Fonseca have revealed close relatives of seven current or former Chinese leaders have links to offshore companies.
The Panama documents name family members of the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, and two other members of China’s elite Standing Committee, Zhang Gaoli and Liu Yunshan.
Relatives of the three men are listed as directors or shareholders in companies located in known tax havens.
Chinese state media are blocking reports of the families’ offshore dealings, and the news is being censored on Chinese social media outlets.
It is not illegal for Chinese citizens to set up offshore companies. However, China’s Communist officials are discouraged from profiting from their ruling positions and their family members are not supposed to profit from their ties, according to the party’s constitution.
More than 300,000 party officials were punished last year under an ongoing anti-corruption campaign, orchestrated by President Xi Jinping.
All three leaders have in-laws who are listed as directors or shareholders in companies located in known tax havens, including the British Virgin Islands.
It is widely known that many of China’s elite families have succeeded in the business world and their wealth is well documented.
However, the leaked files from Mossack Fonseca divulge how much of that wealth is managed overseas, in opaque corporate structures that until now remained hidden from public view.