Exiled Chinese Billionaire Seeks Refuge in the US
By Faith Magbanua, September 09, 2017 01:09 AM
A series of allegations puts the Chinese billionaire, Guo Wengu, into China's hot list as he seeks help from the United States.
According to his lawyer, the New York-based property tycoon has been accused by top Chinese officials of corruption and has applied for political asylum in the US.
Guo Wengui, also known as Miles Kwok, believes that he is perceived as "a political opponent of the Chinese regime." Beijing has sought for his arrest; but, the charges remain unclear.
Accused of Bribery
According to the reports from state media, the 50 year old businessman is accused of bribery charges. It is believed that the billionaire allegedly bribed a vice-minister, a charge which Guo has vehemently denied.
Guo, who left China in 2014, has published a series of tweets and YouTube videos to allege corrupt practices among top members of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, including Beijing's anti-corruption czar, Wang Qishan.
"He fears that the government is seeking retribution for the things that he exposed." according to Guo's lawyer.
He has also released what he alleges are official state secrets ahead of a key Communist Party Congress, which is held every five years and currently scheduled to begin on 18 October.
Though Guo has not provided substantial evidence for his claims, his criticism has drawn fire from Beijing.
On April, the Chinese government issued a global "red notice" through the global police co-operation agency Interpol for Guo's arrest.
Chinese authorities have reportedly set out an investigation for Guo for at least 19 crimes including kidnapping, fraud and money laundering, according to the report from AP.
AP also reported that a report from the Chinese police last month has opened an investigation into a new allegation of rape against Guo.
In April, Chinese news outlets said Guo had bribed the former vice-minister of state security, Ma Jian, with 60m yuan (£6.8m, $8.7m). Ma has since been arrested and currently being prosecuted for corruption.
Guo has denied the charges and suggests that the arrest warrant was "politically motivated."
According to reports, the national average for an asylum application process is two to three years and as an asylum applicant, Guo, whose tourist visa is due to expire later this year, is entitled to remain in the US until a final administrative decision is reached.
As of now, he also faces a series of defamation lawsuits in the US by several Chinese individuals and companies. Guo says he that is no longer a citizen of China.
In April this year, he told Voice of America's Chinese-language service he had passports from 11 countries, but it is unclear why he would not move to another country once his US visa expires.
He also declined to elaborate on his standing as a Chinese citizen, citing confidentiality reasons.
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