The term “anticorruption” has been at the forefront of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s rule. His housecleaning campaign has targeted (paywall) Central Committee and Politburo members, political rivals and powerful tycoons. And as China’s National People’s Congress removes restrictions on presidential terms, it is also expected to shore up Xi’s power by creating an independent anti-corruption agency. But China’s corruption problem extends well beyond its borders.
Nearly two percent of China’s GDP may have been lost to capital flight in the first three quarters of 2017, according to the US Federal Reserve (paywall). And offshore tax havens have proven incredibly popular destinations for those stolen funds: Mossack Fonseca, the offshore law firm behind the Panama Papers leak, found a third of its work in China and Hong Kong.
International money laundering is so pervasive that two telling phrases have reportedly entered the Chinese lexicon: “BVI” and “White Gloves.”