‘Most beautiful CPPCC member’ Liu Yingxia sacked without explanation

‘Most beautiful CPPCC member’ Liu Yingxia sacked without explanation

Staff Reporter

2014-02-25

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Liu Yingxia attends the third plenary session of the 11th CPPCC national committee in Beijing on March 10, 2013. (Photo/CNS)

Liu Yingxia, dubbed “the most beautiful member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC),” has been thrust under China’s political spotlight following her unexplained sacking from the government’s political advisory body.

The 41-year-old Liu was ousted from the national committee of the CPPCC on Feb. 20 without an official explanation, setting in motion China’s rumor mill amid allegations of graft and connections to dismissed official Jiang Jiemin and former internal security chief Zhou Yongkang, whose “imminent” downfall has been speculated upon for the last two years.

Born in 1972 in the city of Qiqihar in northeastern China’s Heilongjiang province, Liu grew up in a military family and joined the army at the age of 15. After she turned 20 in 1992, she left the army to start her own construction business, the Harbin Xiangying Group. As chairperson, she has steered the company to become one of the largest property developers in Harbin with businesses in real estate, infrastructure and water supplies.

In 2002, Chinese monthly magazine New Fortune named Liu as the 179th wealthiest person in China, with personal assets of 500 million yuan (US$820,000). She was also subsequently named the eighth wealthiest businesswoman in China by another Chinese media outlet. Last year, wealth publisher the Hurun Report listed her as China’s 46th richest woman with assets of 4 billion yuan (US$655 million).

The businesswoman had previously received high praise from Chinese internet users, who have been enamored with her appearance, wealth, power and level of education, as well as for starting her own business from scratch. She is among a small group of highly successful Chinese business owners who are not Communist Party members. In addition, she is also a rare female business owner who holds two master’s degrees which she acquired at Peking University and the Harbin Institute of Technology.

Liu, who was hailed as the youngest member of Heilongjiang’s CPPCC committee in 2002, was elected as a national CPPCC member in March 2003. Prior to her ousting she had been a member of the CPPCC for three consecutive terms over 11 years and had been dubbed the conference’s “most beautiful member” by Chinese media.

In 2003, she led ten well-known private companies, such as electric power transmission appliance maker Delixi Group and Ginwa Group, a conglomerate from Xi’an, to participate in an exhibition for green energy in Qiqihar. Xianying Group founded a non-profit infrastructure construction organization, the All-China Federation of Industry & Commerce Chamber of Urban Infrastructure, in 2007. Liu has been the organization’s chairperson since.

She has called on the Chinese government to allow private businesses to enter industries that have been monopolized by state-own companies, hoping to open up more markets for the growth of private companies. Her request appeared to have been answered in May 2012, when state-owned oil giant China National Petroleum Corporation aligned itself with the Urban Infrastructure Industry Investment fund she chairs, along with state-run Baosteel and another company to fund a cross-country natural gas project. The 110 billion yuan (US$18 billion) project was aimed at building three pipelines to bring natural gas produced in western China to central and coastal regions.

She has reportedly donated more than 12 million yuan (US$1.9 million) to charity and contributed to the relief efforts of victims suffering from the Yushu Earthquake in Qinghai province in 2010. Liu and her staff members took a military aircraft to deliver medicine, tents, clothes and foods worth over 50 million yuan (US$8.2 million) to the victims.

Although her achievements in business and politics have been widely reported, her private life remains a mystery. According to her company’s website, Liu’s father worked in an unspecified foreign country. Whether she is married also remains unclear, although a senior staff member allegedly revealed, accidentally, that she is married to a family of high-ranking military officials and has a child.

Apart from Liu, there have been four other members of the 12th CPPCC who have been ousted, namely Inner Mongolia’s United Front Department chief Wang Suyi, former Shanghai Municipal Planning Commission deputy director Huang Fengping, former CPPCC economic committee deputy director Yang Gang, and former Sichuan CPPCC committee chairman Li Chongxi. All four were either sacked from their positions for violations of party discipline or have been transferred to judicial authorities to face charges.

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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