Posted by Eric Mu on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 5:05 PM
Zong Qinghou, chairman of the biggest Chinese beverage maker Wahaha, has been caught in a string of troubles since Wahaha became involved in a business dispute with its French partner Danone in 2007.
Earlier this year, reports began to appear accusing that Zong of tax evasion. Zong was allegedly avoiding up to 300 million yuan in taxes on undeclared overseas income. Zong responded in a newspaper interview that he was set up by Danone. Since then, no follow-up reports on the case have appears in the mainstream media.
Yesterday, business newspaper 21st Century Economy Report had an article revealing that Zong has been a holder of a United States Permanent Resident Card—a green card—since 1999. This instantly stirred up controversy partly because Zong has twice been elected as a representative to People's Congress, first in 2002 and again in 2007. There is no law barring US green card holders from becoming People's Representatives as long as they are also Chinese citizens, but it is astonishing for many citizens to find out that they have been represented by an "American".
Moreover, though the People's Representatives are supposedly selected through voting, most people on the Internet say that they have never even seen a voting ticket.
According to the same article, Zong's wife Shi Youzhen also possess a green card, and their daughter Zong Fuli has full American citizenship.
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