Skip to comments.Hunter Biden, Joe Biden and China (Politifact)
Posted on 10/23/2020 5:57:21 AM PDT by shortstop
As Election Day nears, President Donald Trump and his supporters are urging greater scrutiny of Hunter Biden, the son of his opponent, Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Theyre especially focusing on the younger Bidens ties to China.
Joe Biden must immediately release all emails, meetings, phone calls, transcripts, and records related to his involvement in his familys business dealings and influence peddling around the worldincluding in CHINA! Trump tweeted on Oct. 14. His campaign also ran an ad that said, The question is not why Hunter Biden used his name to get these gigs. Its why Joe Biden let him do it.
This line of attack against Biden is crystallized in a new documentary distributed by TheBlaze, a conservative media site, and featuring the conservative author Peter Schweizer.
The film relies on Schweizers 2019 book, Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends. Previously, Schweizer wrote the book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, which received some poor ratings for accuracy from PolitiFact.
We have previously reviewed some of the allegations leveled at Hunter Biden by Trump allies. However, because of the renewed focus on Hunter Bidens dealings in China in the closing days of the campaign, well look at some of the issues again here.
Late in the documentary, Schweizer offers a narration that summarizes some of the key arguments made by Trumps allies. What we do know is that the Bidens have cultivated very close relationships with members of the Chinese elite, and some of those relationships would be very hard to defend. We know the Biden family has a series of lucrative deals with the Chinese government. We know that these deals came despite a lack of experience by the Bidens in the areas they cover. We know that they happened while Joe Biden was steering policy towards China.
We also know that these deals didnt just make the Bidens money they had dangerous consequences for our national security. We know that Hunter Bidens firm, backed by the Chinese government, invested in a company that was actively stealing nuclear secrets from the United States. We know that China has been consistent in its efforts to acquire U.S. technology, and that their spies have been caught trying to steal our nuclear technology.
We know that Hunter Bidens firm bought a company that provides dual-use technologies for the Chinese military. We know that global powers have tried to stop China from monopolizing the worlds mineral resources. And we know that Hunter Bidens firm bought a company that actually helped China in its competition with the United States for mineral resources.
Many of the granular specifics that Schweizer cites have been documented, but foreign policy experts say the overarching conclusions reached in the documentary miss the mark because they do not add up to a picture of Joe Biden being corrupt or pursuing policies contrary to the national interest.
The documentary leaves the impression that former Vice President Joe Biden is willing to sell out his countrys national security for personal gain. But independent experts agree that this assertion is baseless. The documentary never says that either Biden broke the law, but its pairing of the Bidens with Chinese figures charged with espionage and other crimes, punctuated by spooky music, might give a viewer that impression. However, there is no evidence that Hunter Biden came close to breaking the law, much less any evidence that his father has done so. Meanwhile, critics say that the Trump familys financial entanglements are at least as problematic, if not worse.
There needs to be financial disclosures of adult children of politicians, as well as politicians themselves, said Yoshiko Herrera, a University of Wisconsin professor who previously headed the universitys Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia. Lets start with President Trumps tax returns, then all the candidates adult childrens tax returns, and then we can dig deeper on other extraneous rumors about China.
Heres a look at some of the claims from the documentary, which weve divided into microlevel and macro-level allegations. The Trump or Biden campaigns did not respond to an inquiry for this article, though Schweizer did. Also, for claritys sake, the China allegations against Hunter Biden are separate from those involving alleged ties to Ukraine that were published on Oct. 14 by the New York Post, and that have drawn skepticism. The micro-level allegations
We know the Biden family has a series of lucrative deals with the Chinese government. How lucrative these deals were for Hunter Biden is subject to divergent estimates, but the deals did exist, through Bohai Harvest RST, a company that Hunter Biden was involved in to pursue investment opportunities. In September 2014, a deal was announced for Bohai Harvest RST to invest 6 billion Chinese yuan, or about $1 billion at the prevailing exchange rate, in Sinopec Marketing Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of a state-controlled oil and gas company. The investment, finalized in March 2015, was one of several simultaneous investments by various entities that added up to nearly a 30 percent stake in the firm.
In September 2015, Bohai Harvest RST paid $600 million to buy 49 percent of auto supplier Henniges Automotive Inc.; the Chinese stateowned AVIC Automotive Systems Holding Co., reportedly acquired 51 percent.
And in April 2017, Bohai Harvest RST paid $1.2 billion for 24 percent of Democratic Republic of Congo-based Tenke Fungurume Mining. Much of the rest of the company is owned by China Molybdenum Co., a private holding company with state-owned capital participation. So where did the capital to make these investments come from? In 2019, the Wall Street Journal, citing business registrations, reported that Bohai Harvest RST was 80 percent controlled by Chinese entities. George Mesires, a lawyer for Hunter Biden, told PolitiFact in 2019 that the younger Biden was an unpaid board member until October 2017, at which point he did take a 10 percent financial stake in Bohai Harvest RST. Mesires later released a statement on Oct. 13, 2019, saying that Hunter Biden would be resigning from the board, without receiving any return on his investment or shareholder distributions. That decision was made around the time that Trump allies were targeting his activities publicly. We know that these deals came despite a lack of experience by the Bidens in the areas they cover.
Hunter Biden had work experience in the financial services sector and had been a Yale Law School-educated attorney, but he does not appear to have had any significant training in Asia, oil and gas, mining, or aviation. We know that ( these deals) happened while Joe Biden was steering policy towards China. We also know that these deals didnt just make the Bidens money they had dangerous consequences for our national security.
Robert Ross, a Boston College political scientist who specializes in China, said that what was known as the Obama administration pivot toward Asia began in 2010. This predated the creation of Bohai Harvest RST. This policy shift aimed to resist Chinese security policy initiatives, Ross said. Overall security and economic trends reflected a significant hardening of U.S. policy toward China, as compared to both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. For instance, U.S. policy developed greater security cooperation with South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines to strengthen the alliances and to better contend with Chinese policy. But Ross said that he knows of no U.S. agreements with China that entailed U.S. security interests, much less that compromised U.S. security.
We know that Hunter Bidens firm, backed by the Chinese government, invested in a company that was actively stealing nuclear secrets from the United States. We know that China has been consistent in its efforts to acquire U.S. technology, and that their spies have been caught trying to steal ournucleartechnology.
Reuters has reported that Bohai Harvest RST also invested in China General Nuclear Power Corp., a state-owned company. The company employed a naturalized U.S. citizen and nuclear engineer, Allen Ho, who was indicted in the United States in 2016 for allegedly enlisting U.S.based nuclear experts to assist in developing and producing special nuclear material in China. Prosecuting those who unlawfully facilitate the acquisition of sensitive nuclear technology by foreign nations continues to be a top priority of the National Security Division, the Justice Department said in its news release about Hos sentencing to 24 months in prison. We know that Hunter Bidens firm bought a company that provides dual-use technologiesfortheChinesemilitary.
The Henniges Automotive deal was done in concert with AVIC, an aviation company that is involved in both military and commercial markets. We know that global powers have tried to stop China from monopolizing the worlds mineral resources. And we know that Hunter Bidens firm bought a company that actually helped China in its competition with the United States for mineral resources.
The mining deal involved the takeover of a mine that produces significant amounts of cobalt, which technically isnt a rare-earth element but which is considered a critical mineral by the U.S. government, along with niobium, another commodity produced by the Chinese mining company. The film acknowledges that the Obama admin-istration was fighting China over rare-earth minerals at the time, which is the opposite of Biden steering U.S. policy toward his sons benefit.
The macro-level allegations
Even if the granular details are correct, however, that doesnt mean there is a widespread scandal. Here are a few reasons why: The verifiable aspects of the story are aboutHunterBiden, notJoeBiden. In many of these allegations, Schweizer uses the term the Bidens. While the viewer is presumably meant to fill in the blank as Joe Biden, the allegations really refer to members of his family, particularly Hunter. In our previous analyses, weve made it clear that Hunter Biden did cause a problem of appearances for his father.
It is apparent to me that Hunter Biden did not do anything illegal in China, but it would have been much better for Joe Bidens political fortunes if Hunter Biden had not been involved in either Ukraine or China, Lincoln A. Mitchell, an adjunct research scholar at Columbia Universitys Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, told us last year.
Barry Naughton, chair of Chinese international affairs at the University of California at San Diego, told us earlier this year that while its allowed, It is certainly a bad thing that our political system allows deals like this, and a bad thing that Hunter Biden takes advantage of them. In a lengthy investigation of dealings by Hunter Biden and James Biden, the nominees brother, Politico concluded that Bidens image as a straight-shooting man of the people is clouded by the careers of his son and brother, who have lengthy track records of making, or seeking, deals that cash in on his name.
Regardless, there is no evidence that Joe Biden was orchestrating these activities, or benefiting from them. Schweizer told PolitiFact that he does not allege anyone broke a law. But I dont know that the threshold for acceptable behavior for our elected leaders needs to be not committing criminal acts. Theres no evidence that Hunter Bidens activitiesdrovechangesinpolicy. Just because the deals happened at the same time doesnt mean that Joe Biden acted corruptly in carrying out policy.
Much the same fallacy can be seen in the accusations that Biden acted to oust Ukraines top prosecutor in order to benefit a company where Hunter Biden was serving as a board member. In reality, much of the international community was united in the push to remove the prosecutor due to concerns over corruption.
The rare-earth minerals deal, for instance, ran counter to the administrations policy, which suggests White House policy was running against Hunter Bidens business interests. Schweizer said his research shows that Chinese officials sought out Hunter Biden and his partner Devon Archer to pursue an agenda of soft diplomacy, and that Joe Biden made numerous public statements in which he portrays China as a harmless rival. That a sitting vice president is presenting our main rival in this light is not insignificant. However, a point that the documentary doesnt note is that Bidens policy now, as a candidate, has been tough on China. He has been framing Chinas rise as a serious challenge, according to an analysis by the Council on Foreign Relations.
He has criticized its abusive trade practices warning that it may pull ahead of the United States in new technologies and its human rights record, the analysis says. He says he would mount a more effective pushback against China than Trump and work more closely with allies to pressure Beijing.
For better or worse, these sorts of ties are common, andlegal, among world leaders.
A wide range of China experts told PolitiFact that its not unusual for Chinese government and businesses interests to court prominent Americans or their family members.
This is a standard operating procedure, Naughton said. Bring in an influential person, give him a small percentage of a firm as a finders fee, and grow the business.
It is a widespread belief of Chinese leaders that a father always secretly helps his son, said Zhiguo He, a finance professor at the University of Chicagos Booth School of Business. Chinese business entities would like to give favors to the son in a proactive way, with the belief that if I am giving deals to the son, the father will remember it. Many lower level officials are doing it.
Neil Bush, the younger brother of then-President George W. Bush, testified in a March 2003 divorce proceeding about a $2 million stock deal with Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., a firm backed by the son of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin.
HNA Group, a Chinese conglomerate, offered to buy a hedge fund owned by former White House official Anthony Scaramucci; retained the legal services of Gary Locke, the former U.S. ambassador to China, shortly before his confirmation; and provided financing to a privateequity firm backed by Jeb Bush, according to a 2019 account in the Intercept. The Bank of China added Angela Chao, the sister of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and sister-in-law of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to its board of directors, the Intercept reported. President Trump and his family have faced questions of possible conflicts of interest as well, including the granting of Chinese trademarks to Trumps daughter Ivanka, who owned a fashion line.
Both the Biden and Trump examples involved a child of a powerful U.S. official getting special treatment or business opportunities from the Chinese government, but there are some differences. On one hand, Ivanka Trumps trademark approval involved an expedited regulatory review, as opposed to an ongoing investment opportunity. On the other hand, unlike Biden, she was a White House official at the time, in addition to being the presidents daughter. And the president himself maintains extensive business interests around the world.
Schweizer told PolitiFact that any time family members of politicians have business deals with foreign governments, its fair to raise the issue. However, for the past four years, he said, the Trumps family members financial relationships seem to have been well covered, while Bidens have not.
Others, however, believe the reason for concern about China ties should tilt more heavily toward the Trump family. He of the University of Chicago said that in his exposure to China over the past 10 years, I rarely heard about Hunter. I heard a lot more about Ivanka.
Then-Vice President Joe Biden, left, waves as he walks out of Air Force Two with his granddaughter Finnegan Biden and son Hunter Biden at the airport in Beijing in 2013. NG HAN GUAN | Associated Press (2013)
The globalists are desperate to seize power in the United States, begin the dismantling of the American nation and implement their vile agenda. There is a class of people who believe that only with a world government controlled by “enlightened” people can enviormental problems, overpopulation,borders, social backwardness and the suppression of religion be done. Nationalists like Trump and Putin must be destroyed. Biden is their perfect stalking horse to achieve their goals. They have committed a huge amount of resources. Thet control the media and big tech. They will not allow any criticism or truth be told about what they consider Biden’s “petty corruption”. They want power, know its close and will not let troublesome facts prevent them from achieving their goals.
Honestly do not believe that the American electorate understands what is at stake in this election. The best thing conservative can do is pound loudly through talk radio. the internet and the few media outlets they have access that Biden is a corrupt, criminal politician who must not become President.
<><> Hunter Bidens 2013 Bohai Harvest Rosemont investment partnership was set-up by several of China's
Ministry of Foreign Affairs institutions (tasked w/ garnering influence with foreign leaders during YANGs tenure as Foreign Minister).
VP nominee, Kamala's hubby's law firm DLA Piper, employs officials who hold prominent CCP positions:
<><> on CCPs Senior Advisory Board, the China International Economic, Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC),
<><> the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC),
<><> and other of its organizations.
DLA PIPER also represents CCP-owned companies, including
<><> two airlines
<><> technology companies w/ US security issues ....ByteDance, and Tencent.
<><> advises the Chinese embassy in Canberra, Australia.
<><> and is involved in multi-billion-dollar businesses.
<><> Hunter Biden is linked to the CCP, via Bohai Harvest (Hunter owns 10% of the capital stock).
I have worked in accounting all of my working life.
There are NOT 100 tax attorneys in the USA who can understand Trump’s tax returns-—& I will bet that he has hired 95 of those in his business life.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.