For months, this Chinese billionaire video-blogging from his swanky Manhattan apartment overlooking Central Park has captivated the attention of Chinese at home and abroad.
His livestream videos and posts on Twitter contain incendiary allegations against top officials within the current Chinese Communist leadership, including widespread corruption and adultery.
Guo Wengui, a New York-based real estate tycoon who also goes by the name Miles Kwok, has close ties to China’s inner circle of political players. He made his money as a property developer in Beijing, his most notable asset being the torch-shaped Pangu Plaza building near the Olympic stadium.
But in recent months, he seems to have broken rank and begun revealing their secrets. Chinese netizens have been glued to their screens to hear what kind of dirt he has on China’s most powerful men. He is the country’s highest profile dissenter.
His most shocking claim to date could be the revelations of organ harvesting undertaken by top officials to keep themselves and their relatives healthy.
In a series of posts and videos uploaded to Twitter on Sept. 1, Guo claimed former leader Jiang Zemin’s son, Jiang Mianheng, had three surgeries for kidney transplantation at the Nanjing military hospital between 2004 and 2008, all done by killing live patients on the spot for immediate organ harvesting. Five people died as a result, he claimed.
The timing falls in line with Chinese media reports that said Jiang Mianheng was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had a kidney transplant back in 2004, done at a Shanghai hospital.
Guo also claimed Meng Jianzhu, the country’s top security chief, engaged in a similar practice, searching for organ matches among Chinese prisoners to treat his mother’s and his wife’s kidney and liver ailments.
According to a Brookings Institute report, Meng is known to be part of the “Shanghai gang,” a group of officials who rose to power through ties with Jiang Zemin. Before becoming leader of the entire Communist regime during the 1990s, Jiang ruled over Shanghai as party secretary.
Since 2006, media outlets and independent researchers have reported on the widespread, state-sanctioned practice of organ harvesting in China. Researchers believe most of the organs are sourced from prisoners of conscience, in particular from adherents of Falun Gong, but also from Tibetans, house Christians, and Uyghurs.
An award-winning documentary on the subject, “Human Harvest,” details how the transplant industry in China skyrocketed after Jiang launched a nationwide persecution of Falun Gong, with many adherents arrested and sentenced to prison.
The documentary explains that the organ removal is done while the victim’s heart is still beating, resulting in the victim dying from the subsequent loss of blood and trauma. Meanwhile, this method allows the organ to remain in its optimum state.
It’s unclear why exactly Guo has turned against the regime, but he has his grievances. In late 2014, a business deal that went wrong—resulting in his ally and former top Chinese intelligence official Ma Jian getting arrested—prompted him to flee the country. Guo claims the Chinese authorities have since seized his assets and detained his relatives in China, according to a report by South China Morning Post.
Guo has applied for political asylum in the United States. In a report by the New York Times, his lawyer said his accusations against Chinese officials have made him “a political opponent of the Chinese regime.”
Additional reporting and translation by Annie Wu