Law

Wahaha chairman has US green card

zong qinghou.jpg
Zong Qinghou

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.

Links and Sources
There are currently 29 Comments for Wahaha chairman has US green card.

Comments on Wahaha chairman has US green card

I have yet to meet a Chinese citizen who is under the illusion that any of his representatives in government are elected in a democratic process.

So what's he news here?

I'm willing to bet 99.99% of the very top CCP leadership's immediate families have citizenship or green cards to a variety of Western nations that run by rule-of-law systems for escape purposes should they need to make an untimely exit from their beloved Zhong Guo.

That Mr. Zong is just now being exposed to have a U.S. green card is simply wonderful. I hope he ships all his money over to the U.S. tax coffers rather than here in China! Let the "netizens" of China discuss that one over a cup of Starbucks.

Reminds me of the silly crap going on in Hong Kong now about a new layer of "advisors" and "deputy ministers" that have stirred a hornet's nest of trouble for the leadership there because of all their foreign citizenships.

Love the motherland!! Love Zhong Guo!!! (but have an exit strategy!!)

一治两国?

*GASP!

How could an American permanent resident--a legal resident of that scourge of international tyranny and source of all things wicked, the 10,000 years enemy of the Chinese People, the United States--ever purport to represent the interests of the Motherland, our beloved and beneficent China?!

Sun Yat-sen is rolling in his grave!

b.

You are confusing China with DPRK. Actually compared to those in many other countries (including supposedly US allies), the Chinese view the US fairly positive, I read somewhere.

China, on the other hand is considered by most Americans as the No.2 enemy, after Iran. You tell me who is nuttier.

Several high-ranking members of Ma Yingjiu's (Taiwan's newly-elected president) new administration have been involved in similar "green card" scandals. It seems that this is a very sensitive issue for many people - not just Chinese on the mainland. Much has been made, for example, of the fact the Ma Yingjiu once possessed a green card himself, that one of his daughters is a U.S. citizen, etc.

I wonder how many of China's top leadership have children who possess either U.S. citizenship or permanent residence?

On a related topic: In my experience, it is quite common for members of the Chinese middle class to hold U.S. green cards (or the Canadian equivalent). Several of my friends have them - and make sure to travel to the U.S. at least once each year in order to keep them current. Likewise, it is a common phenomenon among the Chinese middle class to search for ways to give birth abroad - particularly in the U.S., where birth comes with citizenship rights. Chinese parents who give birth abroad evidently aren't subject to the second child penalty. In addition, having an American child provides a path to citizenship (or permanent residence) for the child's parents. Finally, possessing a green card provides middle class Chinese with a way out should China cave in on itself in the unpredictable years to come.

Fine, fine--it is a practical exit strategy.

But what happened to this deep love for the Motherland, the blood-red patriotism and all?

This is what makes the anti-foreign protests so funny. I am sure that many of those screaming against foreigners a few months ago lined up for visas at the very same embassies the same day.

And people talk about "double standards"?

@Ma Bole: What flabbergasts me is how some of these give-birth-abroad (or green card holding) Chinese "patriots" still sound like shrill cultural revolution throwbacks when you discuss simple little things like U.S./Taiwan/Japan relations with them.

It appears with the simplicity of global travel and stupid laws in civilized countries that allow automatic citizenship just because of birth happenstance, you have a whole new class of Chinese that have been places, seen things and yet absorb ZERO of the good in those places. They are the ones still cutting in line and hawking phlegm in the Louvre or spitting bones on the floor at Le Bernardin in NYC.

I'm willing to be you don't understand immigration law very well.

"I'm willing to bet 99.99% of the very top CCP leadership's immediate families have citizenship or green cards to a variety of Western nations that run by rule-of-law systems for escape purposes should they need to make an untimely exit from their beloved Zhong Guo."

Many of those protesting against the foreign media included overseas Chinese. There's nothing funny or conflicting. These people love their adopted homelands but it's not like they've forsaken their "mother lands" and decided not to sit idly by while it got bashed by self-righteous, self-interested media.

Much like some commentors on this blog bash China yet, why are they are..... ?

"This is what makes the anti-foreign protests so funny. I am sure that many of those screaming against foreigners a few months ago lined up for visas at the very same embassies the same day.

And people talk about "double standards"?"

Hi Tom - love the comments, including:
"Much like some commentors on this blog bash China yet, why are they are..... ?"
by your fine logic, does that mean people living in the US should not "bash" the US government when it f*cks up? are we only allowed to live in countries we love wholeheartedly? sounds like a plan to me. but people shouting 'boycott france" and then getting a visa the next day is not the same as choosing to live in china and being critical of its government/policy. not one bit.oh, and sort out your quoting from previous posts. it's making me dizzy

"You are confusing China with DPRK. Actually compared to those in many other countries (including supposedly US allies), the Chinese view the US fairly positive, I read somewhere."---PFFEFER

You read SOMEWHERE? Where? Was that on the back of your navel since you probably had your head up your rear when you wrote this? Don't be so naive. China hates the U.S. as much as the U.S. hates China and probably more. China forgets that the U.S. saved their rear in WWII.

"These people love their adopted homelands but it's not like they've forsaken their "mother lands"..."

Actually, that is exactly what they have done. If they have that much love for the beloved Motherland, why are they not helping in Sichuan, on the ground? Or educating migrant school kids? Or lending a hand with a whole host of problems that plague their country?

Apparently, love only goes as far as not hurting self-interest.

Of course, they are free to leave China and never return--their choice, thanks to a visa and immigration policy that is much less restrictive than the one currently being employed in their beloved motherland. But just do not say how much they love a place that they have in fact deserted.

For crying out loud, the founding father of modern China, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, was a U.S. citizen. Sun even travled with a U.S. passport. Chinese are very racial and nationalistic. It serves them right to have U.S. citizens and green card holders represent them as long as they are of Chinese race.

@Sgt Slaughter: Sssshhhhhhh!!! Not so loud about the WWII facts ok?? We wouldn't want to warp the upbringing of guys like tom and Pffefer that actually believe the CCP and Mao were the single handed vanquishers of the Japanese in the Asia-Pacific Theater of WWII.

"Seek truth from facts" -famous overly used and not adhered to CCP quote.

Sgt. Slaughter,

You are a sargent with which army? The US Army you say? Wow, no wonder they f@#$%ed up so much. Retards.

http://www.thechicagocouncil.org/media_press_room_detail.php?press_release_id=84

In case you don't read, here is what is wopping your ass:

"Americans have very cool feelings toward China. On a 0-100 feeling scale, Americans give China a very low average rating of 35, down from 40 in 2006 and 44 in 2004. Sixty eight percent of Americans believe they share “no” or “little values” in common with Chinese.

Chinese give the United States an average rating of 61 on the 0-100 scale of feelings, which is significantly warmer than the rating of 51 which it received in 2006. Sixty six percent of Chinese think the United States is having a “somewhat” or “very positive” influence in Asia and 63% believe the United States has been either “very” or “somewhat effective” in managing tensions between Taiwan and China. "

WWII? The Americans got their asses whopped by the Japanese, which forced them to declare war with Imperial Japan. If they hadn't fought the Japanese and dropped those two N-bombs, more Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos etc. would have died, but there is no doubt in my mind that with or without the US, they would prevail eventually.

Sinasource,

I don't see the double standards. Just as it is PRACTICAL for some of your types (you know, hn and Hunxuer etc.) to go to China, seeking to make tons of money while feeling no love for China whatsoever, it is PRACTICAL for some Chinese to go to the west for whatever reason without cutting ties to China. Love is not required in international migration and travel. Mike is exactly right, just like you people can be cynical about China while living in China, why can't those Chinese folks be defensive about China?

"Of course, they are free to leave China and never return--their choice, thanks to a visa and immigration policy that is much less restrictive than the one currently being employed in their beloved motherland."

Are you friggin' kidding me?? Ask any Chinese who has been to the US (I doubt you know any Chinese though) about how "less restrictive" American visa and immigration policy is. And you are complaining about the Chinese tightening issuing visas, something that you people took for granted? Amazing. Do you have no shame?

"But just do not say how much they love a place that they have in fact deserted."

Following your logic one can say those foreigners who "deserted" their home countries (at least temporarily) and came to China are not in any position to talk about how much they love their respective countries?

You people are indeed amazing!!

As a German citizen living and working in China, I do love both countries.
I am also occasionally very cynical about BOTH countries and feel that having lived in both, I can be.

However, while I live in China, I still hold a German passport and have to say that I think a Greencard is similar to my status (and that of most foreigners) here in China, i.e. a practical (if not easily acquired) way of living and working in a country other than ones home country.

Acquiring FULL CITIZENSHIP of another country though should truly mean that one transfers allegiance from the original "mother country" to the new country. Maybe not all emotions, but to give a graphic example of what citizenship means: if there was a war, one should fight on the side of the country of which one holds citizenship, even if the policies of that country's current government may not be what one subscribes to.

It may not seem like such a big step when one considers changing ones passport but anything above a greencard/work permit/residence permit certainly needs some consideration before it is done - and I mean consideration by the person changing their citizenship, not consideration by the authorities.

The 'exit strategy' idea is a personal decision in my view, but as this thread with all of our very different reactions shows, it is a decision fraught with emotions and certainly impacts others perception of a person - especially if it seems to have been deliberately not mentioned before.

Frau Kaehler,

"if there was a war, one should fight on the side of the country of which one holds citizenship, even if the policies of that country's current government may not be what one subscribes to."

Not necessarily. German Underground during WWII was made up of so many courageous Germans who fought the Nazis. "A good German is a dead German" is absolute nonsense.

By the way, good luck this Sunday. I pray that Deutschland will prevail. :-) Go Schweinsteiger!

Pffefer,

true, that example was not well chosen - I was trying to make a clear distinction between having another country's Greencard and changing one's citizenship which is a much more serious thing.

Still, even though I certainly hope I would have the courage to oppose any regime that was like the Nazis in my home country - theoretically this regime would still expect me to fight for them, if I was a German citizen...the moral choice there is another step up from the pure consequence of being any country's citizen with all the rights and obligations that entails.

Thanks for rooting for our soccer team; I'm still wondering if I should try and stay up that late when one look at my colleagues' faces next morning will show me instantly what the result was ;o)

quote "Marc": '... as long as they are of Chinese race.'

And there you have it.

The Chinese don't want to be citizens of anywhere. They just want conveniences of economy, mobility and protection by a system of law when it suits them.

They don't even behave like good citizens in their own country.

On the other hand, I bet you lao wai here don't toss trash carelessly on the streets, have jumped on the "Save Sichuan" bandwagon and contribute to various other causes to improve your community. In other words, in China, you act as good citizens even though China would virtually never allow you to immigrate.

Didn't the Chinese discover North America? As such, what's he need a green card for? 北美就是中國領土的一部分。

"On the other hand, I bet you lao wai here don't toss trash carelessly on the streets, have jumped on the "Save Sichuan" bandwagon and contribute to various other causes to improve your community."

No kidding, some of the most raunchy behaviors that I have seen come from "you lao wai". Talking about tossing trash carelessly on the streets, man, have you ever been to the US? I am not just talking about Chinatowns.

I see having a green card is merely practicle. It doesn't equate citicenship. He may merely want to be able to stay longer later in life with his daughter and her family. As for her being an American he has to respect his child's dreams. She may be married to an American. She might have a business there. It shouldn't be an issue.

Don't you guys esp. americans know having green card requires residence in US and Zong should have 2.5 years in 5 years staying in US to validate his citizenship, which is totally impossible for him.

He has unveiled the entry record to US in recent 10 years. which of course, nullified his "green card".

you guys don't know or pretend to not know.

it's very disappionting Danwei audience are way more conservative to US value/brainwashed than NYtimes's and WaPo's.

By "conservative", I mean more diligent in smearing enemy country, humiliating nations other than themselves and being aggressive in territories conflict, ideology and oil.

打倒美国的走狗宗庆后!汉奸卖国贼!

Wait, no, no Chinese actually says that. Most people lack this common sense. This stuff is directed to people who judge that "China should be objective and criticize its own malfunctions", not to those who steal the working masses' money and save it in bank account overseas.

One day these people who play with Chinese nationalism will end up caught at their own game. When this happens, the patriotic masses and your evil western servitor will laugh their own share.

Just a thought, I guess it could be good news for Danone's lawyers. Next meeting with Zong in a US court ? With the IRS ? Obviously Zong, who obviously had been trying to make money on the back of Danone (the usual my joint your venture !) was also obviously supported in the shade by PRC authorities in the name of nationalism i.e. support of local greedy but beholden businesses and businessmen, against greedy but naive foreign multinationals. How ironic ! Zong was cheating everyone.

China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
laomo2010x80.jpg
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives