The most recent edition of Caixin Century magazine, part of the line-up at Caixin Media — the group headed up by former Caijing editor-in-chief Hu Shuli (胡舒立) — offers a series of reports on high-speed rail in China. The series includes an in-depth look at the corruption case against Zhang Shuguang (张曙光), the engineer once dubbed “the grand designer of China’s high-speed rail.”
The Caixin Century issue, which bears the headline “The Secrets of Zhang Shuguang,” includes photographs of Zhang’s Los Angeles home and calculates the home’s value on the basis of documentary transfer tax paid back in 2002 by Zhang and his wife, Wang Xing.
The report dealing with Zhang’s US home purchase, “American Mansion of ‘China High-Speed Rail Grand Designer’ Zhang Shuguang Revealed,” says Zhang’s property is located at 688 Pierre Road in Walnut, California, a community about 20 miles east of Los Angeles.
Assuming this information is accurate, here is an aerial close-up of Zhang Shuguang’s Walnut property courtesy of Google Maps.
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Here is the photo of Zhang Shuguang’s Walnut home Caixin posted online yesterday along with its series, which was promoted to the front page of the group’s website.
The following is a partial translation of the Caixin report on Zhang Shuguang’s California home.
“American Mansion of ‘China High-Speed Rail Grand Designer’ Zhang Shuguang Revealed”
December 19, 2011 (posted to website)
The mansion is located in Walnut, USA, covering an area of 30,000 square feet, with a floor area of 4,100 square feet. There are five bedrooms, and the price is 860,000 US dollars.
Not long after Ding Shumiao (丁书苗), a businesswoman from the [prefectural level] city of Jincheng in Shanxi province, was arrested, Zhang Shuguang hurried off to the United States, taking this mansion that had originally been registered jointly in the name of himself and [his wife] Wang Xing (王兴) and putting it entirely under Wang Xing’s name.
Reporters Gu Yongqiang (谷永强), Wang Chen (王晨), Zhang Tao (章涛) and Li Yongchun (李永春)
In recent days, the U.S. mansion of Zhang Shuguang, the former deputy engineer [of China’s Ministry of Railways] and director of the National Transport Administration (运输局局长) who was suspended pending [a corruption] investigation, and who has been called “the grand designer of China’s high-speed rail,” has been revealed.
According to reports by Caixin Century, Zhang Shuguang’s mansion is located at 688 Pierre Road in Walnut, [California].
It’s total area is 4,100 square feet (about 381 square meters), with five bedrooms.
In November 2002 Zhang Shuguang and his wife Wang Xin paid in full for the property. At the time, they paid 946 dollars in documentary transfer tax. Calculating on this basis, we can estimate that Zhang and Wang paid about 860,000 US dollars for the property (the rate of documentary transfer tax in Los Angeles is 1.1 US dollars for every 1,000 US dollars).
In 2002, 860,000 dollars was no paltry sum, and according to the exchange rate at the time (1:8.28), the Renminbi equivalent at the time was 7.12 million yuan. It is difficult to imagine that Zhang Shuguang, who at the time was serving as the head of the passenger car division at the Ministry of Railways, was making a monthly salary of just around 2,200 yuan.