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Corruption and money laundering are long-standing problems in China. Those *problems* may not be leaving China anytime soon--but the *money* is. A new report says corrupt officials have taken more than 120 billion dollars out of the country.
Take the money and run. That's apparently what thousands of corrupt Chinese communist officials have been doing with their riches. As many as 18,000 officials have left China between the mid-90s and 2008. And they've taken more than 120 billion dollars with them, according to a report released by China's central bank last week.
This 67-page report, dated 2008, has now been removed from the People's Bank of China's website. It says the United States is the top destination for corrupt communist officials and their money. Australia, Canada and Holland are also popular.
These officials and employees of state-owned enterprises transfer their money out of China through offshore banking accounts, or investments into things like real estate.
[Cao Chang-qing, Political Commentator]:
"Whether you're hardworking or corrupt, many people are looking to shift their wealth to the U.S. There is a common theme. That is, there is no certainty about China's system and future, and people don't feel safe about what may unfold in the future."
China's communist regime has been eager to fight corruption, which has become the source of many social outbursts. Despite these efforts, the problem remains pervasive across the country.
The report's author—China Society for Finance and Banking—issued an online statement last Thursday after a flurry of media attention. It said the report contained incorrect figures, and advised against using it.