The legislature of the world's last major communist country is almost certainly the wealthiest in the world, according to a popular rich list that names 83 dollar billionaires among the delegates to China's parliament this year.
Meanwhile, in America there is not a single billionaire in the House of Representatives or the Senate while the wealthiest member, Texas Republican Michael McCaul, is estimated to be worth a paltry $500 million.
Among the delegates gathered in Beijing this week to attend the National People's Congress, the China-based Hurun Global Rich List identified 31 people with more than $1 billion in personal assets.
The richest is Zong Qinghou, founder of Chinese drinks maker Wahaha, with an estimated fortune of $13 billion, according to Hurun.
The NPC is tasked with approving legislation proposed by the ruling Communist party but in practice it plays a mostly ceremonial role. Another 52 billionaires are delegates to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a toothless advisory body that meets at the same time as the NPC for about two weeks each year in early March.
Given the difficulties involved in calculating the hidden wealth of many of China's top leaders and their families, analysts say the Hurun report probably seriously understates the true number of super-wealthy participants in the political sessions.
The number of dollar billionaires identified by the report was up 17 percent this year from last year, when 28 billionaires attended the NPC and 43 were at the CPPCC.