7 April 2016
Brock University — Communications & Public Affairs
Chinese president Xi Jinping’s concerted campaign to stamp out official corruption in his country has suddenly taken a rather embarrassing twist. Senior Chinese government officials, as well as some of Xi’s own family members now find themselves in the spotlight of the Panama Papers, a massive leak of documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
They are among hundreds of politicians, public officials, celebrities and athletes worldwide implicated in schemes that essentially enable them to avoid paying taxes on their wealth and, in some cases, launder money and dodge sanctions.
Charles Burton, associate professor, Department of Political Science, is a world-renowned expert on China and is available to comment to the media on the Panama Papers and the fallout that has resulted this week.
“When you have a situation of a nation with 80 to 100 million people concerned about just getting enough to eat and having enough fuel and clothing to keep their bodies warm, the revelations that billions of dollars have been transferred out of the Chinese system to the benefit of certain individuals is a very serious matter,” says Burton. “It’s not simply tax evasion; it goes beyond that to the transfer of state assets into private hands offshore.”
Burton can speak to:
• The effectiveness of attempts to censor social media reports of Chinese government corruption arising from the Panama Papers leak.
• Whether Xi or others will suffer the same fate as Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, who resigned as a result of his family’s implication.
• Whether these latest revelations will bring about reform in China’s government and elite.
• The impact on other countries in the region.
Contact: Charles Burton, associate professor, Department of Political Science, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
* Cathy Majtenyi, research communications/media relations specialist, email@example.com, 905-688-5550 x5789 or 905-321-0566
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