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Caixin: Is Chen Guangbiao China’s “No. One Philanthropist” or “No. One Crook”?

On September 20, 2016, Caixin, China’s leading provider of business and financial news and information, published a special report titled, “Chen Guangbiao: ‘No. One Philanthropist’ or ‘No. One Crook?'”

Caixin, which is considered to have reliable sources from within the CCP Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, revealed in the report that Chen has to make himself available to authorities at any moment to cooperate with the investigation of Ling Jihua, former director of the CCP Central Commission General Office. In reporting on Chen’s business and political circles, Caixin disclosed his connection with Li Dongsheng, who was removed from his position as deputy minister of Public Security and as director of the office of the Central Leading Group on Dealing with Heretical Religions, due to corruption.

Chen’s ties with China’s security apparatus were in the public spotlight after he held a press conference in New York at the beginning of 2014. He announced to the press that he had brought two Chinese women to the U.S. where they could undergo reconstructive surgery. The two victims, mother and daughter, are said to have been part of a 2001 self-immolation. Chinese authorities alleged that they had set fire to themselves because they practiced Falun Gong. Apart from the fact that the Washington Post reported that the mother had died at the time, a number of Falun Gong spokespersons presented evidence that the immolation itself had been staged.

A reporter from Voice of America (VOA) was at the press conference. Her first thought was that, if Chen was a philanthropist, who harbors sympathy for victims, how could he bring the mother and daughter, who were burned nearly beyond recognition, and showcase them to international media? VOA also noted that, aside from Bejing’s side of the story, no independent investigation of the incident has ever been conducted.

Radio Free Asia (RFA) noted in its September 22 report that Chen had filed a lawsuit against Caixin for libel and demanded a public apology. China’s official news media Xinhua gave coverage to Chen’s reaction. Xinhua mentioned in its report that the Qinhuai District Court in Nanjing, where Chen’s company is based, had accepted Chen’s filing.

On September 26, Caixin, on the other hand, did a follow up report on Chen called, “Taking Another Look at Chen Guangbiao,” which exposed more of his dubious dealings.

Caixin, September 26, 2016
RFA, September 21, 2016
Caixin, September 21, 2016
Caixin, September 20, 2016
VOA, January 7, 2014
Washington Post, February 4, 2001