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    Chinese Tycoon Seeks White House Help Against Fugitive

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    A Chinese property developer who lives in Australia has petitioned the White House, seeking its help in investigating fugitive Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui for persecuting him and his family, according to the White House website.

    As of press time, over 17,179 people have signed his petition.

    "For over six years, Guo persecuted me and has seized property worth tens of millions of dollars," read a petition on a page of the White House's website. The petitioner claims he is Zheng Jiefu, a Chinese property developer now living in Melbourne, Australia.

    Zheng told the Global Times on Thursday that he and his family have been living in fear for a long time, as Guo, who had fled to the US in 2015, "is still spreading false information about them."

    Guo, who is known to have close ties with disgraced former State Security vice minister Ma Jian, has lived in the US for the most part since leaving China two years ago. The Interpol has issued a "red notice" for Guo, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in April.

    Zheng said he started the petition after learning that "many innocent American and Chinese citizens also suffer from slander and libel, which seriously damaged their reputation and lives… He had also kidnapped some Chinese citizens, and has transferred a huge number of personal and corporate properties abroad."

    Launched on May 20, the petition needs another 82,821 signatures by June 19 to get a response from the White House. A similar petition launched on May 22 against Guo and his repatriation to China has been signed by 51,239 people as of press time.

    Zheng said in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald in April that Guo and Ma had severed "all of his important relationships, destroyed his marriage, and threatened his children." 

    Guo has allegedly paid for a private jet — costing thousands of pounds per hour — that British Prime Minister Tony Blair took to the Middle East in 2013 and in return, the latter introduced Guo to the Abu Dhabi royal family, who provided $30 billion to an investment fund manager ACA Capital in Hong Kong that is run by Guo, news portal caixin.com reported Thursday.

    Chinese property tycoon Pan Shiyi Monday vowed to sue Guo for slander for spreading rumors about his business and personal life. Pan said Guo claimed in a recent video that Pan was involved in rigging the bid for the Morgan Center project in Beijing, now known as Pangu Plaza, in 2006.

    This article, written by Leng Shumei, was originally published in the Global Times. 

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