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Chinese businessman who called President Xi “clown” in 18 years in prison

In China, a well-known real estate entrepreneur has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. Ren Zhiqiang has long been a critic of the Chinese president and was accused of corruption, among other things.

The 69-year-old was a member of the Communist Party but did not spare the president. In March, Ren Zhiqiang’s friends reported he was missing. Just before he disappeared from public life, the former chairman of the board of state real estate company Huayuan called President Xi Jinping “a clown” in an article.

He also criticized his corona policy. According to Ren, the new coronavirus could have been tackled sooner if there had been freedom of expression in China, and journalists were not restricted in their work. This was followed by the official indictment and the expulsion from the party.

In addition to his imprisonment, Ren also has to pay a fine of 4.2 million yuan (about 528,000 dollars). The sixties would have taken bribes, misappropriated public money, and thus enriched himself with about 2.7 million dollars.

Zhiqiang’s supporters deny this. They say he has been punished for his harsh criticism of leader Xi Jinping.

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