China's Billionaire Lawmakers


A telling comparison of extremely wealthy Chinese lawmakers with their peers in the US Congress


By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 9 March 2019,




The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post recently published a highly interesting report about the wealth of China’s lawmakers. [1] The paper is known as a serious source and it certainly knows what it’s talking about as it is owned by the Alibaba Group, a Chinese multinational technology corporation headed by Jack Ma, one of the wealthiest people in the world.


According to the SCMP, China’s lawmakers suffered a decline of their wealth last year as a result of the crisis in the stock market. The Shanghai Composite Index declined by 24.6% in 2018; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 13.6%, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 13.5%. (This has been a global development: the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 43% of its value in market capitalization.) [2]


Still, they have hardly any reason to complain. The article reports that out of the 5,000 delegates of China’s legislature, 93 are dollar-denominated billionaires. (Unfortunately the report does not tell us how many of China’s lawmakers are millionaires but the figure must be obviously substantially larger.) Despite the stock market decline, these dollar-denominated billionaires/lawmakers have an accumulated wealth of US$504 billion!


The SCMP adds: “By comparison, the 50 richest members of the US Congress had a combined wealth of US$2 billion in 2016, according to Roll Call’s data. Darrell Issa, co-founder of automobile components maker Directed Electronics, and the Republican Representative for California, was the wealthiest congressman that year, with a net worth of US$283.3 million.


This is without doubt a remarkable figure: China’s 93 billionaires’ lawmakers have an accumulated wealth of US$504 billion while the 50 richest members of the US Congress have a combined wealth of “only” US$2 billion!


This confirms, once more, the RCIT’s analysis of the emergence of a powerful capitalist class in China. We have elaborated in numerous studies that China has not only become a capitalist country in the early 1990s but it even transformed into an imperialist Great Power in the past decade. [3] In the last few years, China has even become the country with the largest (according to Chinese sources) or second-largest (according to Western sources) number of billionaires. [4] The latest issue of the China-based Hurun Report states that “China leads world for 4th year for billionaires with 658, 74 ahead of USA with 584.[5]


The substantially higher number of millionaires among Chinese lawmakers, compared with the U.S., results from the different, historically conditioned, physiognomy of China’s ruling capitalist class. American monopoly capitalists are a much “older”, longer-existing class. It has established a political and social division of labor. Billionaires don’t need to enter Congress in order to implement their dictates. They have, at their disposal, trusted politicians who act as loyal executives.


China’s monopoly bourgeoisie is a much younger class. It has existed only two or three decades. It is led by a much more centralized leadership. Without this structure, China could have not succeeded in catching up to the older, Western Great Powers. (China’s economy as a whole is still more backward than the U.S., European, or Japanese rivals.) As a result, China’s ruling class has a less established division of labor. Business and politics are more directly united at the personal level.


It is a sad joke that there are still a number of Stalinist, Bolivarian and pseudo-Trotskyist forces which continue to praise China as a “socialist” or “workers state” (with or without deformations). As we have demonstrated in our latest book, this claim is in full contradiction to the reality and only serves to conceal social-imperialist support for a Great Power that is now challenging U.S. imperialism for global hegemony. [6]


We repeat - revolutionaries must defend the interests of China’s working class and oppressed peoples against the Stalinist-capitalist regime. [7] Socialists around the world must not lend support to any imperialist state. Down with all Great Powers – the U.S., China, Russia, Japan and the EU! [8] We call on revolutionaries to join the RCIT in building a Revolutionary World Party that fights for international socialism!






[1] Yujing Liu: China’s billionaire lawmakers are fewer and less wealthy, as 2018 stock market rout crimped their ranks and fortunes, 6 Mar, 2019

[2] We refer readers for an overview of the state of the capitalist world economy which is close to another Great Recession to the chapter “World Economy: The Next Great Recession is About to Begin” of the RCIT’s World Perspectives 2019 (

[3] For a detailed analysis of China’s capitalism and its rise to a new imperialist Great Power, we refer readers to the numerous RCIT publications which can be found in a special section on our website: On the process of capitalist restoration see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: China‘s transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 4,

[4] Michael Pröbsting China: A Paradise for Billionaires. The latest UBS/PwC Report about the Global Super-Rich Delivers another Crushing Blow to the Stalinist Myth of China’s “Socialism”, 27.10.2018,

[5] Loong Palace: Hurun Global Rich List 2019, 2019-02-26,

[6] Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, January 2019,

[7] See e.g. Michael Pröbsting: China: Defend the Muslim Uyghurs against Oppression! 18.10.2018,

[8] See on this, in addition to our new book on Great Power rivalry: RCIT: Theses on Revolutionary Defeatism in Imperialist States. Resolution of the International Executive Committee of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 8 September 2018,; RCIT: Global Trade War: No to Great Power Jingoism in West and East! Neither Imperialist Globalization nor Imperialist Protectionism! For International Solidarity and Joint Struggle of the Working Class and Oppressed People! 4 July 2018,