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Chinese Official Denies Owning 80 Homes, 20 Cars, Xinhua Reports

A Chinese village official accused of accumulating personal assets of more than 2 billion yuan ($321 million) denied online reports that he had some 80 homes and 20 cars, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

“Among the eight properties that were made public online, five to six are mine,” Zhou Weisi said in an interview with Xinhua published yesterday. He acknowledged that he has more than 10 cars, including Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Zhou, a vice director in the Nanlian neighborhood of Shenzhen’s Longgang district, was suspended and put under investigation on Nov. 27, Xinhua reported. It said the suspension came after reports of his wealth on the Internet “triggered public outrage.”

Vice President Xi Jinping acknowledged the threat posed by graft when he took over as head of China’s Communist Party earlier this month, saying the party could “perish” unless leaders address corruption and social unrest, according to remarks reported by the People’s Daily newspaper.

Zhou, chairman of a trade and development company, said his property was accumulated by his business, Xinhua reported. Phone calls to the Longgang district supervisory bureau and the Nanlian committee office went unanswered yesterday.

Separately, Zhou Zujie, the whistle-blower in the case, was arrested by Shenzhen police for suspected false declarations of the registered capital of four companies, Xinhua reported, citing police. The arrests were unconnected to the Zhou Weisi case, Xinhua said, citing police.

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