The youngest brother of disgraced Chinese presidential aide Ling Jihua is hiding out in the United States with Beijing demanding his repatriation, US and mainland media report. Caixin, a prominent mainland news media outlet known for its investigative reporting, and The New York Times – citing US official sources – both reported on Tuesday that Ling Wancheng had fled to the US. However, Ling Wancheng’s exact whereabouts, or whether he had applied for asylum, was not disclosed. The New York Times said Ling’s presence in the US provided another twist in the case of his brother, Ling’s Jihua, and “could be an intelligence coup at China’s expense”. Ling Jihua, 58, the former chief of staff of retired president Hu Jintao, has been accused of six violations of law and Communist Party discipline, including illegally acquiring a large number of “core secrets” of the state and party, according to a Political Bureau statement issued by the Xinhua news agency last month. The accusation that Ling Jihua illegally obtained the secrets surprised some observers, who said that he had been supposedly entitled to access to the information in his role working for Hu. However, analysts have speculated that the Chinese authorities may have been considering Ling Jihua’s relatives, and whether they had leaked or passed on information allegedly given to them by Ling Jihua. If this was the case then the authorities could accuse Ling Jihua of leaking secrets. Ling Wancheng, 56, who is also known as Wang Cheng or Jason Wang , had been a private businessman working in Beijing, but he had not been seen since last autumn, months after his second brother, Ling Zhengce, was investigated for corruption, the report said. Both Caixin and The New York Times reported that Ling Wancheng was the owner of a 7,800-square-foot home, which he bought from a professional athlete in the rural town of Loomis in California for US$2.5 million. Caixin said the property had been bought in September 2013 but in the name of his wife and his pseudonym, Wang Cheng. It added that the wealthy businessman might also own two golf courses on the west coast of the US. The Caixin report also said Ling Wancheng’s Loomis neighbour had last had direct contact with him in May, after Ling’s home’s security system was set off. The New York Times report said the administration of President Barack Obama had yet to agree to Beijing’s demand for Ling Wancheng’s repatriation, despite recent increased pressure from China for the US to hand over the wanted man, who has extensive connections within Chinese’s elite political and business circles. President Xi Jinping’s official visit to the United States next month is expected to become complicated with delicate diplomatic negotiations between the two nations over the issue. Asked if the case would affect Xi's visit to the US next month, Renmin University international relations professor Jin Canrong said it all depended on how much Ling Wancheng knew. "Judging on the facts as they are now, I do not think the matter will affect Sino-US talks which mostly cover issues related to global strategic alliances," Jin said. Beijing-based political analyst Zhang Lifan said Ling Jihua's fate was tied to that of his brother. "How much Ling Wancheng knows and whether he will leak the information to the US … will affect Ling Jihua's sentencing," Zhang said. "He could use it to barter with China for his safety and a lighter sentence for his brother. He could leak it to the US to save himself but that way his brother's indictment might include leaking state secrets too." But Renmin University political science professor Zhang Ming said Ling Wancheng's flight would not affect his brother's sentence. "The political nature of this case will not change, it might only affect how much money is uncovered," Zhang said.