Chinas billionaire leaders make US peers look poor

Written by Bloomberg | Beijing | Updated: Feb 28 2012, 06:35am hrs
The richest 70 members of Chinas legislature added more to their wealth last year than the combined net worth of all 535 members of the US Congress, the president and his Cabinet, and the nine Supreme Court justices.

The net worth of the 70 richest delegates in Chinas National Peoples Congress, which opens its annual session on March 5, rose to 565.8 billion yuan ($89.8 billion) in 2011, a gain of $11.5 billion from 2010, according to figures from the Hurun Report, which tracks the countrys wealthy.

The income gain by NPC members reflects the imbalances in economic growth in China, where per capita annual income in 2010 was $2,425, less than in Belarus and a fraction of the $37,527 in the US. The disparity points to the challenges that the new generation of leaders faces in countering a rise in social unrest.

Chinas top political leaders, including President Hu Jintao and Wen, dont disclose their personal finances or those of their families.

Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher for the Hurun Report, estimates that for every Chinese billionaire the company discovers for its list, there is another one it misses, meaning the gap between the wealth of Chinas National Peoples Congress and the US Congress may be greater still.