While these have been known for a while, Joe Biden’s run for president has brought further attention to them, unearthing more details.
A recent report by two Senate committees, alongside emails obtained by the New York Post, has revealed that Hunter Biden had business deals with an oil company with ties to the Chinese military. (Related: Yes, the Hunter Biden emails are authentic.)
The Senate report stated that Hunter Biden began developing ties with Chinese nationals when he co-founded investment and advisory firm Rosemont Seneca Partners in 2009. The report goes on to say that these financial connections were “accelerated” while his father was vice president and continued even after his term.
Two Chinese nationals, in particular, became prominent in Hunter Biden’s financial network with China. These were Chinese oil tycoon Ye Jianming and Asia-based financier Dong Gongwen. The reports stated that the latter was Ye’s business associate who executed transactions for his companies.
According to the report, both had “robust relationships China’s military units,” including some that were involved in matters directly opposed to U.S. policy in the region.
Ye was the founder of CEFC China Energy, an oil conglomerate that made billions of dollars in Eastern Europe, Russia and parts of Africa. The conglomerate was China’s largest privately-held oil company before it was placed under investigation in 2018 for “suspected economic crimes” that eventually led to Ye’s detainment.
Before this, Ye also served as the deputy secretary-general of the China Association for International Friendly Contact (CAIFC), a front group for the Chinese military’s former General Political Department, a political organ within the Central Military Commission which controls the military.
According to a 2018 report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, the CAIFC is responsible for managing campaigns focused on collecting intelligence and conducting propaganda and managing perception.
While Hunter Biden seems to have mostly built his Chinese ties during his father’s tenure as vice president, Joe Biden’s ties to China go back further.
After Washington established full diplomatic relations with Beijing in December 1978, the elder Biden was part of a group of U.S. senators who visited China in April 1979.
During this trip, Biden met then vice-premier Deng Xiaoping, who later became the country’s paramount leader.
Throughout the years, Biden has spoken positively about China.
“As a young member of a Foreign Relations Committee, I wrote and I said and I believed then what I believe now: That a rising China is a positive, positive development, not only for China but for America and the world writ large,” Biden said about his 1979 trip during a session of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in May 2011.
In addition, he has been among those who have continued to urge Washington to normalize trade with Beijing.
“I would like to point out that my support for permanent normal trade relations with China is based not just on an assessment of the economic benefits to the U.S., not just on the prospects for political reform in China, but also on the impact on our national security,” the then-senator said on the Senate floor in September 2000.
All these run contrary to what Biden has been saying during this year’s presidential campaign. The Democratic presidential nominee has become more vocal in criticizing Beijing, particularly over the human rights violations occurring in the country.
Considering his past affinity for the country, it’s hard to tell whether Biden will really be tough on China or if his criticisms are just campaign rhetoric meant to side with public opinion in a bid to get elected.
Follow JoeBiden.news for more on his family’s dealings with China and other foreign powers.