HONG KONG — Li Qianxin, the elder daughter of the Chinese Communist Party’s No. 3 leader, has quietly crafted a life in Hong Kong that traverses the city’s financial elite and the secretive world of Chinese politics.
For years, she has mingled with senior executives of state companies through Hong Kong and mainland professional clubs known for grooming the sons and daughters of officials. She has represented Hong Kong in Chinese provincial political advisory groups. She is the chairwoman of a state-owned investment bank based in Hong Kong that has long done business with the relatives of top Chinese officials.
Ms. Li, 38, also has deep financial roots in the city, having bought a $15 million,
four-story townhouse perched high above a beach. Her partner owns a now-retired racehorse and spent hundreds of millions on a stake in the storied Peninsula Hotel that he later sold.
Ms. Li and other members of the Communist nobility are embedded in the fabric of Hong Kong’s society and financial system, binding the former British colony closer to the mainland. By building alliances and putting their money into Hong Kong’s real estate, China’s top leaders have inextricably linked themselves to the fate of the city.
As the party now takes a stronger hand in running Hong Kong, the top leadership in Beijing has a vested interest, politically and personally. Ms. Li’s father, Li Zhanshu, oversaw the swift passage of the new national security law for Hong Kong that handed the party a powerful new weapon to quash dissent.
The law could protect the families of the party’s leaders by stopping the protests that wreaked havoc on the economy, or leave them vulnerable by driving down business confidence in the territory. It could also expose them to sanctions.