Point Piper on the Chinese tourist route for insight into the privileged lives of Communist Party princelings

Point Piper on the Chinese tourist route for insight into the privileged lives of Communist Party princelings
Point Piper on the Chinese tourist route for insight into the privileged lives of Communist Party princelings

There’s apparently a new addition for sightseeing Chinese tourists when they visit Sydney.

Not just cuddly koalas and the Opera House – they have added driving along Wolseley Road, Point Piper for a glimpse of the $32.4 million property owned by a son of a former vice-president of China, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Set high on a hill, above a towering sandstone wall and overlooking Sydney Harbour with picture postcard-perfect views of the bridge, Craig-y-Mor, the Point Piper non-waterfront residence, is owned by Zeng Wei and his wife, Jiang Mei.

The 2008 purchase was made just in the name of Jiang Mei. Quietly during 2009, the name of the Wei Zeng was subsequently added to the title.

Architect's impression: Gergely & Pinter Architects

By late 2009 the couple were seeking its demolition, to be replaced by a $5 million new home (architect's impression above), so they were both named for the first time in the much anticipated end-of-year Sydney Morning Herald Title Deeds Christmas party column.

It quickly sparked speculation in Chinese internet chatrooms.

“??????Sydney Morning Herald 2009 December 12-13 weekend edition??????2009?12?12??13?????????????Domain House?????2H????Title Deeds????????????Jonathan-Chancellor????????????????????????????????????????????????

?????????????????????????? “It was the talk of the party. Craig-y-Mor, the Point Piper non-waterfront residence, is set to be bulldozed by its $32.4 million buyers, Mei Jiang and Wei Zeng.”



??????Title Deeds???????3240???????????????????????????????????????????“It will be the priciest knockdown in Sydney’s history”) ??????Gergely & Pinter Architects ????????Woollahra Council??????????????Woollahra??????????????????????Point Piper ?????????????????? ????????Wolseley Rd, Point Piper NSW.” (translation from Google Translate below)

Despite their names being published in an incorrect order and the restrictions on Baidu, the Chinese internet search engine, the web was soon alive with chatter linking Wei to his father, Zeng Qinghong, the former vice-president of the People's Republic of China between 2003 and 2008, and once one of the most powerful men in the Chinese Communist Party. Jiang was noted for studying at the Beijing Dance Academy and, following a stint in television at the Chinese property developer Renhe Group.

In April 2010, the Fairfax press published confirmatory details noting (in correct order) businessman Zeng Wei, and his wife, Jiang Mei, were examples of the opportunities open to foreign investors in the right visa class.

“Mr Wei's father, Zeng Qinghong, was vice-president of China between 2003 and 2008 and the fifth-ranking member in the Politburo Standing Committee,” the SMH and The Age report noted.

“In 2008, the couple paid $32.4 million for Craig-y-Mor in Point Piper, the third-most expensive house ever sold in Australia.

“The purchase was made after he obtained a business migration visa the year before.

“The grand 1920s house with renovations by Professor Leslie Wilkinson was initially bought just in his wife's name, as was an earlier acquisition - a $1 million apartment in the World Tower block in Liverpool Street in the CBD in 2005.

“The couple's application to demolish the house and replace it with a new $4.95 million home is being reviewed by Woollahra Council, which is seeking heritage advice,” it reported in an article by then property editors Jonathan Chancellor and Marika Dobbin.

The couple won planning approval on Christmas Eve 2010.

They currently have lodged an amendment seeking modifications for an extra tunnel excavation this one to provide access to the pool and gym area.

The WSJ noted the elder Zeng, long the right-hand man to former President Jiang Zemin, was a member of China's peak political body, the Politburo Standing Committee, for five years and before that headed the powerful Organisation Department, which is responsible for deciding who gets which political posts.

The report goes on to note the source of his son and daughter-in-law's fortune was “unclear.

Both Jiang and Zeng are also directors of an Australia-registered company called Fruit Master International Ltd. Public documents don't disclose what the company does, and its accountant declined to comment to the WSJ.

The company's four other board members include one of China's richest men, Renhe Chairman Dai Yongge, his wife and his sister, Xiuli Hawken, with whom he helped to found Renhe. Hawken, now a UK resident, has been ranked by Forbes as the 15th-richest person in the UK, worth $2.2 billion.

"If you have got Sydney Morning Herald 2009 December 12-13 weekend edition (Sydney Morning drive Sinica 2009 ? December 12 to 13 weekend), then the Domain House in itsversion with the first page (2H), is the Title deeds (property deed) column, this written by theJonathan-Chancellor recently disclosed in a column devoted to the sale of transfer of the dynamic Sydney mansion, including the house's history, overview, some basic informationbuyers and sellers.

In the first paragraph of this column, two Chinese person's name caught my attention: "It was the talk of the party. Craig-y-Mor, the Point Piper non-waterfront residence, is set to be bulldozed by its $ 32.4 million buyers, Mei Jiang and Wei Zeng. "

Zeng? Chiang Mei?

Online google a bit, Zeng, former Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong's son. Chiang Mei, the first CCTV "video Tong Qisheng" column host, Zeng's wife. Then google a bit, manyunconfirmed news that Zeng network to Australia several years ago.

Read on, Title Deeds that his men used the original 32.4 million Australian dollars to buy the house, the plans to be demolished for redevelopment. And pointed out that this is the history of Sydney's most expensive demolished for redevelopment projects (original: "It will be the priciest knockdown in Sydney's history") building designed by Gergely & Pinter Architects isresponsible. The project application has been Woollahra Council, is in the public notice period.So on the Woollahra City's website, the next check is being publicized Point Piper real estate-related projects only one project, the applicant is the design company. The resulting housingaddress Wolseley Rd, Point Piper NSW."




Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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