Beijing — Chinese officials have refused to have Canadian diplomats attend the trial of a big Canadian-born Canadian who disappeared from Hong Kong five years ago, the Canadian government said Tuesday.
Xiao Jianhua was last seen at a hotel in Hong Kong in January 2017 and was believed to have been taken to the mainland by Chinese authorities. According to news reports, the Chinese administration has not released details, but he was the subject of an investigation by anti-transplant authorities that year.
The Chinese government confirms whether Xiao, the founder of the Tomorrow Group, has been detained or may face allegations related to a series of anti-corruption charges by regulators and the seizure of financial companies. I have not.
The Canadian government said earlier Xiao was due to be tried on Monday, but did not say anything about whether or where the trial took place. Details of possible rates are not given.
“Canada has made several requests to attend the hearing process. Our attendance was denied by the Chinese authorities,” a statement from the Government of Canada said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said there was no information about Xiao.
Xiao disappeared amid a flood of charges of Chinese businessmen accused of illegal activity.
It fueled fears that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) may have kidnapped people outside the mainland. Hong Kong at the time prohibited Chinese police from operating in the former British colonies, which had different legal systems.
Since then, Beijing has tightened control over Hong Kong, raising complaints of violating the autonomy promised when the territory returned to Chinese rule in 1997. The CCP imposed a National Security Act in 2020 and imprisoned democratization activists.
Hong Kong police investigated Xiao’s disappearance and said the subject had crossed the border to the mainland. However, an ad in the Ming Pao newspaper in the name of Xiao of the same week denied that he was taken against his will.
When he disappeared, Xiao was worth nearly $ 6 billion, making him the 32nd wealthiest person in China, according to Frun’s report, following the wealthy people in China.
Founded in 1999, Tomorrow has expanded to include banking, securities, insurance, coal and real estate.
The company has become one of the hottest targets in the CCP campaign. According to news reports, Xiao is suspected of improperly using funds from banks and other companies to pay for the acquisition, but no charges have been announced against Xiao.
In 2020, regulatory agencies seized nine companies controlled by Xiao. This includes four insurance companies, two brokerage firms, two trust firms, and companies involved in financial futures. At that time, Caixin, a business magazine, reported that the total amount of assets seized was about 1 billion yuan ($ 150 million).
Retired bank regulator Xue Jining has admitted that he has received a bribe of 400 million yuan ($ 62 million) in a corruption case involving Baoshang Bank Ltd. in northern Inner Mongolia.
According to news reports, auditors have discovered that tomorrow has misused money from the Baoshan Bank.
Tianan Property Insurance Co., one of tomorrow’s companies seized in 2020, put its assets up for sale last month, demanding 2.1 billion yuan ($ 315 million).