Wealthy Chinese politicians: How 18 delegates in China are richer than the 561 lawmakers at the top of the US government combined

The richest man in the US congress would rank a lowly 166th among China's lawmakers

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The Independent Online

Politicians across the world may regularly be accused of being out-of-touch, but a recent report has shown how the vast wealth of China's billionaire lawmakers dwarfs that of those in the US government.

The disparity is such in fact, that the wealthiest man in all three branches of the US government, Darrell Issa, would rank just 166th if he was to sit at a meeting of China's National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Consultative Congress, The New York Times has reported.

Using figures from the Hurun Report, released earlier this month, the paper reported how the combined net worth of Chinese delegates came in at $436.8 billion – while a total of 18 have a net wealth greater than all 535 members of Congress, President Obama's cabinet and nine Supreme Court judges combined.

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Republican Representative Darrell Issa is the wealthiest man in the US Cognress – but he would rank only 166th among China's lawmakers (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

It is not the first time the wealth of lawmakers in the two countries have been compared.

In 2013, The Economist reported that the top 50 wealthiest Congressmen in the US controlled a total of $1.6bn - while members of the China's NPS controlled a total of $94.7bn.

Below is a chart, produced by Statista, which shows the individual wealth of politicians in both the US and China in 2013.

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The latest figures have been published at a time when China has been facing criticism after a popular documentary on the country's struggles with pollution disappeared from video sharing websites on Saturday.

Journalist Chai Jing's film, 'Under The Dome', which details the country's deepening pollution problems, spurred a national debate following its release a week earlier, quickly gaining hundreds of millions of views on streaming sites.

The film however started to become inaccessible on the country's biggest online video sharing websites late on Friday, 6 March, Reuters news agency reported.

By the following morning, it was unavailable on all the major video sites, as well as a number of smaller video sites.

The disappearance produced an angry response from a number of internet users.

“Some people have the power to completely smother Chai Jing's 'Under the Dome' on the Internet, but don't have the power to smother haze in this country,” one user of the Twitter-like site, Weibo, said.

Neither internet regulator the Cyberspace Administration of China, nor the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television responded immediately to requests for comment by Reuters.

The film has been credited however with bringing the country's environmental problems into sharper focus at the start of the China's annual legislative meeting last week, as leaders tried to ease public worries about air, water and soil contamination.

Two days into the session of the NPC in Beijing, President Xi Jinping promised to “punish, with an iron hand, any violators who destroy the ecology or environment, with no exceptions,” according to the official Xinhau News Agency.

Additional reporting by Reuters and AP

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