Two global super-powers, two global leaders. (Photo courtesy of Diego Camacho)

Opinion

Opinion: The threat behind the Biden family’s business dealings

From President Trump’s first impeachment to the “Laptop from Hell,” one person at the center of this three-year-long saga is Hunter Biden. Whether he is portrayed as a derelict or a security threat, the President’s son has never ceased to grab national attention. Of course, the subject now placed under public scrutiny is the Biden…
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/joshkyue/" target="_self">Joshua Yue</a>

Joshua Yue

July 24, 2022

From President Trump’s first impeachment to the “Laptop from Hell,” one person at the center of this three-year-long saga is Hunter Biden. Whether he is portrayed as a derelict or a security threat, the President’s son has never ceased to grab national attention.

Of course, the subject now placed under public scrutiny is the Biden family’s alleged business dealings with the Chinese Government. And the focus point of Hunter Biden’s questionable business dealings is the dubbed “top spy chief of China,” Patrick Ho.

Ho was vice-chairman and secretary-general of the Shanghai-based energy company, CEFC.  As a lobbyist on behalf of the energy giant, Ho had been a major proponent of the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s debt-trap diplomacy strategy. 

In November 2017, Ho was arrested and charged with violating the Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act and money laundering after offering a $2 million bribe to the President of Chad on behalf of CEFC. Later, he would contact his business partner, Hunter Biden, and pay $1 million to represent him in court.

“I have another New York Times reporter calling about my representation of the, literally, Dr. Patrick Ho — the f—ing spy chief of China who started the company that my partner [Ye Jianming], who is worth $323 billion, founded and is now missing,” Biden was found saying on an audio clip from his laptop. 

Text messages from Hunter Biden’s laptop revealed Hunter Biden’s anxiety with the New York Times possibly making the link between himself and Ho.

But what about these connections caused the younger Biden to panic the way he did? What was the background of his business partners?”

Before working for CEFC, Ho was a Chinese government official in Hong Kong. In 1993 he served on the eighth, ninth, tenth and 11th National Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee. He was appointed in 1995 as a member of the Preparatory Committee of the first HKSAR Government. 

This meant that Ho served in China’s equivalent of a senate although the body is given an advisory duty rather than policy-making. While it is made for multi-party cooperation, many of the members are hand-picked by the CCP meaning they already tend to align with CCP interests.

While Ho’s affiliation with Chinese Intelligence has not yet been proven, there have been suspicions by the intelligence community that he was a Chinese agent. As a result, the FBI had been monitoring the former Hong Kong politician under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. 

Ho’s boss at CEFC, Ye Jianming, is also known to have access high ranking Washington DC officials. The CEFC chairman had made lavish “donations” to think tanks and universities to gain access to officials in DC. He had also courted the Biden family and former CIA director, R. James Woolsey, at dinner parties. In fact, Ye even went as far as to attempt to persuade American Security officials to not bomb the Syrian Oil Fields he owned.

Not all of China’s spies come from government agencies. With the rapid political and economic growth of the country, business conglomerates with cash and clout can be the key to the back doors of Washington. While these business partners of Hunter Biden were not special agents, they did attempt to court and maintain influence over former and current Washington Officials.

The leak of Hunter Biden’s laptop and phone records are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the level of infiltration the Chinese Government has on our institutions. It’s not from the tin foil hat conspiracy methods but instead through Chinese state-sponsored multinational tycoons who can buy their way into American business, education, culture, media and politics.

The threat of Chinese conglomerates should not be underestimated so long as they can maintain contact with their friends in high places.

Opinion: The impacts of inflation

Opinion: The impacts of inflation

Inflation is at a record high. As Trading Economics found, the aggregate June 2022 inflation rate of 9.1% has not been higher since November 1981. But what does this mean for the investor? Before diving into the ramifications of such high inflation rates, it is...