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The party, widely viewed as beset with corruption at all levels, controls access to wealth and opportunities and the nation’s assets, which are overwhelmingly in the hands of party members and those with connections to top party leaders.

Mr. Huang is closely connected to party inner circles and previously served as an official in the party’s Propaganda Ministry.

At the Shanghai donation ceremony, Mr. Huang was quoted in state-run press accounts as saying: “I am proud of being a Communist Party member.”

• Miles Yu’s column appears Thursdays. He can be reached at