As new disclosures about the investigation into Hunter Biden’s taxes have found their way into the mainstream press, we’ve learned that the relationship between the elder Biden and one of Hunter’s Chinese business partners was much closer than the former vice president admitted.
Hunter Biden called his father, Joe Biden, and his Chinese business partner “office mates” in a September 21, 2017, email to the general manager of his former Washington, DC, office building.
“Please have keys made available for new office mates,” Hunter Biden wrote in the email before listing Joe Biden, his stepmother Jill Biden, his uncle Jim Biden and Gongwen Dong, who he identified as the “emissary” for the chairman of the now-bankrupt Chinese energy conglomerate CEFC.
Hunter Biden also requested that a sign be made for his office stating “The Biden Foundation” and “Hudson West (CEFC US).”
Hunter Biden’s dealings with CEFC in 2017 were at the center of allegations from his ex-business partner, Tony Bobulinksi, who said in October that Joe Biden was “plainly familiar” with his family’s business dealings in China. Bobulinski was one of the recipients of the much-publicized May 2017 email purportedly referencing Joe Biden as the “big guy” who would hold 10% in a joint-venture deal with Hunter Biden and CEFC.[i]
Hunter Biden’s contacts with CEFC included Patrick Ho, who was sentenced to thirty months in prison on charges of bribing officials in Chad and Uganda to secure oil drilling rights, and Ye Jianming, who served from 2003 to 2005 as deputy secretary general of the China Association for International Friendly Contacts (CAIFC).[ii] A 2018 report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission identified the CAIFC as a front for China’s People’s Liberation Army, performing “dual roles of intelligence collection and conducting propaganda and perception management campaigns.”[iii]
This potential breach of national security is not limited to the Biden family, or to the US, for that matter. Over the weekend of December 12–13, 2020, Sky News Australia and the UK’s Daily Mail disclosed the leak of a database containing the names of nearly two million members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Many of these CCP members worked in the West, in sensitive areas such as defense, banking, and pharmaceuticals. The Daily Mail noted that Pfizer and AstraZeneca, both involved in the development of COVID-19 vaccines, employed 123 CCP members who’d sworn an oath to “guard Party secrets, be loyal to the Party, work hard, fight for communism throughout my life…and never betray the Party.”[iv]
Of concern to the British government was the revelation that defense contractors Rolls-Royce, Boeing, and Airbus each had “dozens” of party members on their payrolls. Major British banks HSBC and Standard Chartered employed “hundreds.” None of those companies reportedly have policies against hiring members of the CCP.[v]
The relationship between China and the West began to thaw half a century ago, during the Nixon administration. In February of 1972, President Richard Nixon visited the People’s Republic of China for a week, allowing Americans to see images from inside China for the first time since the Korean War, twenty years earlier. And things took another turn in 1979, when the Chinese sent a delegation to Davos.
When Deng Xiaoping started China’s “reform and opening up” policy in 1978, Mr. Schwab showed up in Beijing to ask Mr. Deng to come speak at what was then called the European Management Forum. Mr. Deng declined. But he sent a small team of free-market economists led by Mr. Qian in 1979, a month after the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee approved the new policy.
After his visit to Davos, Mr. Qian quickly arranged for the Chinese Academy to establish a partnership with Mr. Schwab and the forum. The forum had the benefit of Switzerland’s reputation for political neutrality. Beijing and Washington had backed opposite sides in the Vietnam War, which had ended only four years earlier, so business and economic contacts with the United States were mostly politically off limits in China.
The forum quickly began playing a key role in bringing European investment and business ideas to China. Concepts like joint stock ownership of businesses, instead of cooperative or communal ownership, were developed in China in the early 1980s partly through contacts and discussions at the forum.
Today, the leaders of China’s state-owned enterprises use their attendance at the forum to allay any overseas concerns about their expansion into international markets, said Justin Lin, the director of the Center for New Structural Economics at Peking University.[vi]
China’s engagement with the US and the world grew exponentially in 2001 when it joined the World Trade Organization. America’s trade balance with China shifted from nearly even in 1985 to a $419 billion deficit by 2017. It accelerated after 2001, and has cost the US an estimated 3.7 million manufacturing jobs.[vii] President Trump’s emphasis on redefining America’s relationship with China has reduced the annual trade deficit to $345 billion in 2019, and it appears that it will be smaller yet in 2020.[viii]
President Trump’s “trade war” with China has generally been criticized in the press. Proponents of free trade tout its advantages, mainly the alleged availability of cheaper goods as items are produced where they can be made least expensively. In the real world, however, that only works when nations play on a level field. If one side subsidizes its manufacturing, artificially lowers costs by easing regulations or manipulating its currency, or places tariffs on import goods, then that nation gives its economy an unfair advantage.
A growing issue in recent years between the US and China is the theft of intellectual property. By some estimates, IP theft by the Chinese costs the United States between $225 billion and $600 billion a year.[ix] China’s Thousand Talents Plan has recruited thousands of scientists and engineers at Western universities, both Chinese expats and foreign nationals, by making lucrative deals with academics to send their research back to Beijing.[x] The program was declared a threat to American interests by a Senate subcommittee in 2019,[xi] and in early 2020, the chair of Harvard’s chemistry and chemical biology department, nanotechnology expert Charles Lieber, was indicted for lying about his financial ties to China.[xii] The National Association of Scholars identified thirty-nine cases of American professors, administrators, students, and government researchers charged for crimes stemming from illegal ties to China in 2020. Compromised institutions included UCLA, Texas A & M, West Virginia University, Indiana University, UC-Davis, Stanford, Ohio State, UC-San Francisco, Case Western, Emory University, University of Tennessee, Boston University, University of Florida, University of South Florida, University of Kansas, UC-San Diego, University of Texas, Virginia Tech, Duke University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NOAA, and NASA.[xiii]
We understand that nations spy on one another. That’s part of the geopolitical game. Moses and the Israelites sent a covert team into Canaan to spy out the land more than thirty-four hundred years ago, and it’s a safe bet that espionage wasn’t a new concept then. But the Chinese government has used scholarly collaboration as cover to place “dozens, or even hundreds” of agents inside American institutions to funnel research and technology to Beijing.[xiv]
FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in February 2018 that the Bureau is investigating many Confucius Institutes, the Chinese-funded language and cultural centers located on more than one hundred American universities. The US intelligence community warns that these institutes are potential spy tools and thirteen of them are located on universities that host top-secret Pentagon research, such as Arizona State, Auburn, and Stanford. Wray warned that “naiveté” in the academy aggravates the risks, and he asserts that the Chinese exploit “the very open research and development environment that we have” on college campuses.[xv]
Interestingly, the Democrat-led House of Representatives appears reluctant to annoy the Chinese by targeting the Confucius Institute branches active on sixty-five American college and university campuses.[xvi] Despite passing the Senate unanimously in July 2020, House Democrats voted against bringing the CONFUCIUS Act to the floor for a vote.[xvii] The bill would strip government funding from universities without direct control over Confucius Institutes on their campuses to limit the ability of the Chinese government to spread propaganda and, presumably, use those facilities for intelligence gathering. As of this writing, five months later, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still hasn’t allowed the bill out of committee.[xviii]
In response, the Senate added the provisions of the bill to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the Senate by a vote of 86-14.[xix] House Democrats amended the NDAA to authorize the Defense Department, rather than the Department of Education, to withhold funding from universities that do not comply. That narrowed the focus of the bill to protecting Defense-funded research, rather than the broad range of protections envisioned in the original CONFUCIUS Act.[xx]
This is an odd political move for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who’s apparently gambling that the American public doesn’t know or care about the security threat posed by China, even as a member of her caucus, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), has come under fire for a two-year relationship with an attractive young Chinese woman named Fang Fang (or Christine Fang, as she was known). Fang met Swalwell in 2012 as a student at Cal State East Bay, helped raise funds for his election campaign, and placed an intern in Swalwell’s office. According to American counterintelligence officials, Fang was probably a Chinese intelligence operative.[xxi]
Axios reported in early December 2020 that Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, was one of a number of politicians who were targets of a “honey trap,” a very old ploy in which someone with information is lured into a physical relationship to extract intelligence, either through shared confidences or blackmail. US counterintelligence officials told Axios they believe Fang reported to China’s Ministry of State Security, the country’s main civilian spy agency. The FBI began an investigation into her activities in 2015, about the time Fang surprised friends by suddenly returning to China. She has not returned to the US as of this writing.[xxii]
Given that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has represented San Francisco in Congress since 1987, and that the Bay Area is home to one of the oldest and largest Chinese American communities, and that Silicon Valley, just south of San Francisco, is a prime target for espionage (Chinese and Russian), one might expect Mrs. Pelosi to be more sensitive to efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to use her community as a base to gather valuable intelligence against the United States. To date, however, Pelosi has refused calls from Republicans to remove Rep. Swalwell, whose district is just across San Francisco Bay from Pelosi’s (and includes Hayward, home of Cal State East Bay), from the Intelligence Committee.[xxiii]
Maybe Speaker Pelosi is aware of the espionage efforts by the CCP but finds it in her best interests not to care.
China’s rise to the status of global superpower might seem irrelevant to the theme of this series, but it’s not. First, recent revelations about the lucrative business deals between the son of Joe Biden and his Chinese colleagues raise serious questions about the policies he will adopt toward China. Biden has talked tougher lately than he did during his campaign, when he declared that China was “not competition for us.”[xxiv] His nominee for the position of US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, is a native Mandarin speaker and was the Trade Representative’s chief counsel for China trade enforcement with the World Trade Organization between 2007 and 2014.[xxv] This could mean that Joe Biden now recognizes that China is, in fact, competition.
On the other hand, America’s trade imbalance with China grew from $259 billion to $345 billion during that time.[xxvi] And, in another example of this entry practically writing itself in real time, it Joe Biden was considering former Disney CEO Bob Iger as America’s next ambassador to China. Why is that significant? Bob Iger ran Disney from 2005 to early 2020 and oversaw the company’s acquisition of the Star Wars franchise, Marvel, and 21st Century Fox. He also cut the deal with China for the construction of Shanghai Disney, a resort featuring two resort hotels, Shanghai Disneyland, Disneytown, and more. To make it happen, Iger gave up a 57 percent share of the development to a state-owned company, Shanghai Shendi Group.[xxvii]
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In September 2020, Disney disclosed that it had filmed parts of its live-action remake of Mulan in China’s western Xinjiang province, where Beijing has imprisoned about a million Muslim Uyghurs in concentration camps and forcibly sterilized Uighur women.
Worse: The credits to Mulan thank entities in the CCP including the party’s Propaganda Commission in Xinjiang as well as a branch of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau. The latter entity has a role in operating the concentration camps, while the Propaganda Commission has justified the operation of the camps.[xxviii]
The point here is not that Disney made questionable business deals in China. There are plenty of corporate CEOs who put a higher priority on the value of their company’s stock than on the impact to America’s workforce. We’re suggesting that Mr. Iger’s lucrative relationship with the Chinese government indicates that US policy toward China may soften under a Biden administration.
The relevance to us, as Christians, is not only the threat China poses to our way of life. That’s important, yes, but even more significant is the role China is poised to play as end-times prophecy unfolds before our eyes.
To preempt speculation, I am not convinced that China will field the army of two hundred million that eliminates a third of humanity at the sounding of the sixth trumpet in Revelation chapter 9. Even with a population of 1.4 billion, China’s active-duty military has only about 2.2 million soldiers.[xxix] Besides, the mounted army is described by John in similar terms to the locust-like creatures that swarm out of the abyss when the fifth angel blows his trumpet. In other words, the two hundred million soldiers are supernatural, not human. (Humans will be involved, but they may be nothing more than “meat suits” for the dark, demonic spirits who bring hell to those left on earth.)
Despite President Xi’s aspirations, China will be nothing more than a useful tool of the principalities and powers who view the middle class of America and the West as an obstacle to achieving their goal of rebuilding the kingdom of Babel.
UP NEXT: Joe Biden, President Xi Of China, And Other Useful Tools Of Zeitgeist 2025 Principalities And Powers
[i] Andrew Kerr and Chuck Ross, “EXCLUSIVE: Hunter Biden Called His Father and Chinese Business Partner ‘Office Mates’ In September 2017 Email,” Daily Caller, December 11, 2020. https://dailycaller.com/2020/12/11/hunter-joe-biden-cefc-office-mates/, retrieved 12/12/20.
[iii] Alexander Bowe, “China’s Overseas United Front Work: Background and Implications for the United States.” U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Staff Report, August 24, 2018, pp. 9–10. https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/Research/China%27s%20Overseas%20United%20Front%20Work%20-%20Background%20and%20Implications%20for%20US_final_0.pdf, retrieved 12/12/20.
[iv] Jake Ryan, Jonathan Bucks, and Holly Bancroft, “Leaked Files Expose Mass Infiltration of UK Firms by Chinese Communist Party including AstraZeneca, Rolls Royce, HSBC and Jaguar Land Rover,” Daily Mail, December 12, 2020. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9046783/Leaked-files-expose-mass-infiltration-UK-firms-Chinese-Communist-Party.html, retrieved 12/14/20.
[vi] Keith Bradsher, “The Story of China’s Economic Rise Unfolds in Switzerland,” New York Times, January 20, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/18/business/davos-china.html, retrieved 12/15/20.
[vii] Andrew Soergel, “California, Texas among Biggest Losers of Jobs from Growing China Trade Deficit.” U.S. News & World Report, January 30, 2020. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2020-01-30/us-loses-37-million-jobs-due-to-growing-china-trade-deficit-report-finds, retrieved 12/20/20.
[viii] “Trade in Goods with China,” United States Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html, retrieved 12/15/20.
[ix] Yukon Huang and Jeremy Smith, “China’s Record on Intellectual Property Rights Is Getting Better and Better.” Foreign Policy, October 16, 2019. https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/10/16/china-intellectual-property-theft-progress/, retrieved 12/15/20.
[x] James Jin Kang, “The Thousand Talents Plan Is Part of China’s Long Quest to Become the Global Scientific Leader,” The Conversation, August 31, 2020. https://theconversation.com/the-thousand-talents-plan-is-part-of-chinas-long-quest-to-become-the-global-scientific-leader-145100, retrieved 12/15/20.
[xi] “Threats to the U.S. Research Enterprise: China’s Talent Recruitment Plans,” Staff report, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, United States Senate. https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2019-11-18%20PSI%20Staff%20Report%20-%20China%27s%20Talent%20Recruitment%20Plans.pdf, retrieved 12/15/20.
[xiii] John David, “Cracking Down on Illegal Ties to China.” National Association of Scholars, December 1, 2020. https://www.nas.org/blogs/article/cracking-down-on-illegal-ties-to-china, retrieved 12/15/20.
[xv] Lt. Col. Robert L. Maginnis, Alliance of Evil (Crane, MO: Defender, 2018), Kindle edition location 399.
[xvi] Deb Riechmann, “Trump Administration: Confucius Institute Is Arm of Beijing,” Yahoo! Money, August 13, 2020. https://money.yahoo.com/trump-administration-confucius-institute-arm-172441064.html, retrieved 12/19/20.
[xvii] Yuichiro Kakutani, “Pelosi Stonewalls Bill That Would Crack Down on Chinese Influence in U.S.” Washington Free Beacon, September 20, 2020. https://freebeacon.com/2020-election/pelosi-stonewalls-china-bill-senate-dems-unanimously-supported/, retrieved 12/19/20.
[xviii] “H.R. 7601—CONFUCIUS Act.” Congress.gov. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/7601/all-actions-without-amendments, retrieved 12/19/20.
[xix] S. 4049, Section 1090, “Restrictions on Confucius Institutes.” https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/s4049/text, retrieved 12/20/20.
[xx] “Dems Water Down China Provisions in Defense Bill.” Washington Free Beacon blog, December 18, 2020. https://free-beacon.livejournal.com/4729745.html, retrieved 12/20/20.
[xxi] Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian and Zach Dorfman, “Exclusive: Suspected Chinese Spy Targeted California Politicians.” Axios, December 8, 2020. https://www.axios.com/china-spy-california-politicians-9d2dfb99-f839-4e00-8bd8-59dec0daf589.html, retrieved 12/20/20.
[xxiii] Charles Creitz, “McCarthy: Anyone Who Heard What FBI Told Me ‘Would Never Allow Swalwell to Be on the Intel Committee,’” Fox News, December 19, 2020. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/kevin-mccarthy-eric-swalwell-chinese-spy-pelosi-briefing, retrieved 12/20/20.
[xxiv] “Joe Biden’s China Policy Will Be a Mix of Trump’s and Obama’s,” The Economist, November 19, 2020. https://www.economist.com/china/2020/11/19/joe-bidens-china-policy-will-be-a-mix-of-trumps-and-obamas, retrieved 12/16/20.
[xxv] Liu Zhen, “US-China Trade War: Joe Biden Hints He Will Keep up Pressure on Beijing with Pledge to Fight ‘Unfair Trade Practices’.” South China Morning Post, December 12, 2020. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3113726/us-china-trade-war-joe-biden-hints-he-will-keep-pressure, retrieved 12/16/20.
[xxvi] United States Census Bureau, op.cit.
[xxvii] Associated Press, “For Disney, Its Shanghai Resort Is a ‘Local Company’.” CBS News. April 26, 2018. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/for-disney-its-shanghai-resort-is-a-local-company/, retrieved 12/16/20.
[xxviii] Zachary Evans, “Biden Considering Disney CEO for China Ambassador after Company Praised CCP,” National Review (at Yahoo! News), Dec. 16, 2020. https://news.yahoo.com/biden-considering-disney-ceo-china-212646534.html, retrieved 12/16/20.
[xxix] “The Biggest Armies in the World Ranked by Active Military Personnel in 2020.” Statista, December 1, 2020. https://www.statista.com/statistics/264443/the-worlds-largest-armies-based-on-active-force-level/, retrieved 12/20/20.