For China Media Project, Qian Gang reports on the purge of four newspapers for publishing allegedly “fake” news about the concentration of wealth in the hands of the children of China’s political elite:
The reports in question were branded as “false” on the basis of two sentences in particular.
The first was this one: “According to information in a joint research report by the Research Office of the State Council, the Research Office of the Central Party School, the Research Office of the Central Propaganda Department, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and other government offices, as of the end of March 2006 27,310 people [in China] had assets in excess of 50 million yuan, and 3,220 people had assets in excess of 100 million yuan. Among those with assets in excess of 100 million yuan, 2,932 were the sons and daughters of senior officials. They accounted for 91 percent of those with assets over 100 million, with assets totaling 2.04 trillion yuan.”
And the second: “A report by government authorities in China reveals that .4 percent of the population hold 70 percent of wealth, with concentration of wealth even higher than in the United States.”
The concentration of wealth in China has long been an issue that has concerned ordinary citizens. According to government authorities that have yet to be specified, these four media issued fake news reports. But what exactly is the truth here?