Fog-Wreathed Paradise, Built by a Billionaire Under a Cloud
The New York Times reports on the investigation into Deng Hong, the owner of a lavish resort hotel in the middle of China’s most famous nature reserve, Jiuzhaigou. Deng has reportedly been formally arrested for corruption:
That this kind of hotel could be built on such pristine land is a testament to the political connections of its founder, Deng Hong, a billionaire and one of the most famous businessmen in Sichuan Province.
People with knowledge of business and politics in Sichuan said Mr. Deng was close to Li Chuncheng, the deputy party chief of Sichuan who is now being investigated by the Communist Party’s anti-corruption commission. Mr. Li was detained in December 2012, and the inquiry has been widened to other powerful figures in Sichuan.
On Nov. 8, Xinhua, the state news agency, posted on its website an article from Beijing News that said Mr. Deng had been formally arrested. Police officers in the city of Xianning, where Beijing News said Mr. Deng was being detained, declined to comment, as did representatives of Mr. Deng’s company.
[…] But Mr. Deng has not been to the resort in about a year, Mr. Wang said, and the Beijing News article said his last public appearance was in Chengdu in February last year. The corruption investigation in Sichuan appears to run parallel with an even more delicate one that is scrutinizing former executives at state oil companies and the family of Zhou Yongkang, a former Sichuan party chief who retired in 2012 after years overseeing China’s state security apparatus and legal system while on the elite Politburo Standing Committee. [Source]
Read also about another of Deng’s projects, Chengdu’s New Century Global Center, reportedly the world’s largest building which is now standing mostly empty. See also previous CDT posts about the investigation into Zhou Yongkang.