China is a rival power. They are supplanting the United States on the global stage, both in terms of their economic capability and in terms of their military capability.
They also talk openly about wanting to reorient the world -- to move it away from an American‑led Western coalition. They want to create something very different, and everybody essentially recognizes that, with the exception, it seems, of President Joe Biden.
Now, that is a pretty bold statement. If you look at Biden, what he has said publicly and some of the actions he has taken, he is on an island by himself.
Biden repeatedly says, "China is not a threat. We should welcome the rise of China. It is good not only for China but good for the United States that China is becoming more powerful. The fact is that they are not a threat to us."
This has been Biden's consistent position over the last decade. When he chose to set up the Biden Center at the University of Pennsylvania, very interesting, there is a list of threats that they list.
This is a Biden Center that is focused on foreign policy, national security. They say the three biggest threats that the United States faces in the world today are global terrorism, climate change and Russia.
To put that in the context of what we know is going on in the world stage today. We have had the Chinese government, and Chinese government entities, that have hacked numerous databases in the United States, including those of the US Office of Personnel Management.
There have been reports that the Chinese were hacking into our research centers that were studying information related to COVID. We know that the way that China handled COVID was certainly poor and damaging to the United States. We know that they challenged US military actions in the South China Sea.
It is a glaring omission for the Biden Center, focused on foreign policy diplomacy, to exclude China as one of the three major threats. When you compare it to, for example, Russia...
I'm not suggesting that Russia is not a world power that needs to be watched. But the notion that a declining power like Russia, which has domestic problems, a shrinking economy, a shrinking demographic base, is somehow a bigger threat than China is laughable. It is indicative of a larger issue, which is that Biden essentially has a soft spot for Beijing. The question, of course, is why?
It is impossible to answer that question without looking at the commercial ties that Biden has with China. They are extensive. They are lucrative. They are unique. They speak to one of the oldest realities in American politics, which has followed him.
It seems that in American media -- which focuses on Wall Street firms holding fundraisers that focus on the role that big oil plays on Capitol Hill because of their lobbying but also because of their campaign contributions --we ought to have room to discuss, not campaign contributions to the Biden family, but money going into the Biden family's pockets, in this instance, from China.
When I say money going to the Bidens' pockets from China, do I mean an American company in China? No. Do I mean a Chinese company in China? No. What I mean directly and clearly is the Chinese government itself, which is run, of course, by the Chinese Communist Party.
That is what makes what the Bidens have done commercially with Beijing unique compared to anything that relates to corruption. I've been covering corruption for more than a decade. I've called out Republicans and Democrats. The Biden case, to me, is unique because it is not just rank‑and‑file corruption where somebody gets a paving contract for their business.
We are not just talking about some American company giving a sweetheart job to a politician's relative. We are talking about a foreign government, which happens to be our chief rival on the global stage, engaging in lucrative commerce with the family of the then‑vice president, now the president of the United States, Joe Biden.
This is different and unique in the realm of this kind of stuff I've seen before. What are these relationships? How do they work? What is the relationship between the Biden family and China? What are the details? Why is it a concern?
Let me break this out in a couple of phases. First of all, what is the actual commercial relationship between the Biden family and the Chinese? Second of all, what are the implications of it? This is a commercial relationship that not only has made the Bidens money. It has advanced the strategic and military interests of the Chinese government itself.
What are the relationships? The first one is a private equity arrangement or deal that Hunter Biden has with the Chinese government itself. This is a deal that began and was finalized in December of 2013. It led to the creation of something called Bohai Harvest RST or BHR Partners.
Essentially, the Chinese government poured in a billion dollars. They later expanded that to a-billion-and-a-half dollars for BHR, a private equity investment firm. One of the partnering firms that created BHR was Hunter Biden's firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners.
Hunter Biden was put on the board of directors of BHR Partners. His partner Devon Archer became the vice chairman and sat on the investment committee. What is astonishing about this is, first of all, that the Chinese government funded this venture. Again, these are not individual Chinese companies. This is Chinese government money.
Second of all, it is astonishing that Hunter Biden joined the board of directors of this firm. His firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners, got an equity stake of 20 percent in this firm even though Hunter Biden had zero background in private equity and zero background in China. It begs the question, why did they choose to do business with Hunter Biden? It is pretty clear why.
Only a few months before this deal was finalized, then Vice President Joe Biden became the point person on Obama administration policy towards China. The timing here is also quite astonishing. That is the first tie you have, this billion-and-a-half dollar, now more than two‑billion‑dollar private equity firm, BHR. Hunter Biden gets an equity stake in the firm and joins the board of directors.
In 2017, his lawyers admitted that he also took a personal stake. In addition to the firm that he owned part of, he took a personal stake in these deals. That is deal number one. Then there is deal number two with the Chinese government. This involves a real estate firm called Rosemont Real Estate, of which Hunter Biden was a co‑founder.
Again, Hunter Biden has no background in commercial real estate. He has no background in China. What happens is, in 2013, a Chinese firm called Gemini, which is registered on the Hong Kong stock exchange ‑‑ it is closely linked to the Chinese military, specifically the People's Liberation Army – shows up and becomes a partner with Hunter Biden's real estate firm.
Rosemont then becomes Gemini Rosemont Realty. The Chinese government is later to put in more than $100 million in cash. They publicly say that they are going to put billions of dollars of equity into this entity to make it even more successful. Here you have two large deals.
There are several others we could talk about that relate to the Chinese government doing business with the son of the sitting vice president, who clearly has no experience and has no reason even to be at the table with the Chinese government. Alas, here he is. Those are the deals.
We do not know how much money Hunter Biden made. We can assume, based on the private equity deal, that it is probably in the tens of millions of dollars. There is no requirement for them to disclose any of these deals.
That is part of the problem, and I think it needs to be changed. Those two are the nature of the deals. Here is why these deals are even more troubling and why this is not just a case of corruption.
Hunter Biden is a willing participant. He is on the board of directors of this private equity firm. When you look at what that private equity firm does, the first thing they do is they become an anchor investor in a Chinese firm called China General Nuclear (CGN).
Why is this interesting? This is a nuclear energy firm that about eight months after Hunter Biden's BHR becomes an anchor investor, they are charged by the FBI in the United States.
That firm was stealing nuclear secrets in the United States. In particular, CGN is trying to gain technologies related to the small nuclear reactors that are put on submarines, which provide a huge military advantage to the United States.
Already you have this remarkable fact that the son of the sitting vice president is on the board of directors of a Chinese government‑funded firm that buys into another Chinese firm that is engaged in nuclear espionage in the United States. It goes further.
Another acquisition they make is that Hunter Biden's BHR firm buys half of a company called Henniges in Michigan -- and another Chinese entity buys the other half. That other half is bought by AVIC, which is the Chinese state‑owned aviation military contractor.
AVIC builds all the military aircraft for the Chinese military. These two entities, Hunter Biden's BHR and AVIC, buy Henniges in Michigan, which produces machine‑tool‑related systems. They are dual‑use technologies, which means the anti‑vibration technologies they make can be used for civilian purposes and also for military application.
You have a case the son of the sitting vice president on the board of directors of a firm that has bought American precision machine tool company whose acquisition is going to literally benefit the Chinese military.
What I think is important about the Biden story is not simply the fact that the Biden family made money because of the Chinese military and that Joe Biden speaks very kindly about the Chinese since those deals have gone down, but also that the Biden family involving the son of the vice president directly benefit the Chinese military.
It is said that by 2030, the Chinese Communist Party's goal is to achieve military parity with the United States with the goal, eventually, according to President Xi Jinping, of achieving superiority over the United States.
To me, this is a central issue of concern that we should have in this country. China is a power that has demonstrated over the last decade that they want, by 2025, to supplant the United States as the major economic power in the world. Then by 2030, they want to match the United States militarily.
The Chinese government has also spoken openly about their desire to upturn and change the global order for their benefit. What we have in the Biden family is a family that has become wealthy by enabling, helping, aiding and abetting the Chinese in doing exactly that.
In terms of Hunter Biden doing nothing wrong, it does not seem that there has been anything illegal. I have always contended that the problem in Washington DC is that some of the worst crimes or worst acts of corruption are done by people who engage in legal behavior. In Washington DC, the political class gets to make their own rules.
They get to rig the game, as it were, to ensure that the real lucrative stuff that is corrupt -- and should be illegal -- is the very stuff that they engage in. To me, they did something profoundly wrong, which is set up a business enterprise with our chief rival on the global stage and make money with them.
Hunter Biden has stepped off the board of directors of BHR. Here is the problem: he still retains his equity stake with this Chinese firm. He still has other deals that he conducted with the Chinese from which he benefited.
The fact is: he got caught, not necessarily with his hand in the cookie jar but with an empty cookie jar and a pile of cookies on the table.
The manner in which the Bidens have handled this scandal speaks to me to the fact that there is something here that needs to be explored. Joe Biden has not answered questions related to this very well.
The Biden team has lied repeatedly. I can go into greater detail if people want me to. They have lied repeatedly about what the nature of this relationship has been. They have had to correct the record later. They have had to modify their answers later. This is and should be a central part of the national conversation we are having in the country.
A couple of examples: The first is a December 2013 trip that Joe Biden took on Air Force Two to Beijing, and Hunter Biden tagged along with him.
The Bidens' response was that Hunter Biden was there purely as a private citizen and did not engage in any business activity while he was there. That was the first position. Then, lo and behold, it turned out that a reporter with The New Yorker talked to a Chinese business executive that was involved in setting up BHR.
That Chinese executive told The New Yorker, "Well, actually, Hunter came and got me, and we went and met with the vice president. I shook the vice president's hand on that trip." Already you have the fact that they were claiming that there was no commercial side to this trip, that Hunter Biden engaged in no commercial behavior.
We now know that his Chinese partner was introduced to the vice president of the United States and they discussed whatever they discussed on that trip. Here is the second lie that they made. We highlighted the fact that December 2013, Joe Biden and his son go to Beijing on Air Force Two. About 10 days later, the BHR, the private equity deal is finalized.
They responded by saying, "Well, no. This is a coincidence. They are not connected. Hunter was not really involved in setting up BHR. That took place in June of 2013. It did not take place during this December 2013 trip with the vice president." That was their position. Then our friends at Judicial Watch got a hold of all his travel logs.
The Secret Service has the travel logs of where Hunter Biden went. Remember, they said BHR was set up in June of 2013? Where was Hunter Biden in June of 2013? He was in Beijing, China.
The point is, they have lied about this repeatedly. They have tried to downplay it and say, "Well, he was not really that heavily involved in BHR," and then had to admit that he was on the board of directors.
It has been subterfuge from the beginning. They need to be called out on it. They seem quite concerned and nervous about this. The American people understand if somebody's giving you a sweetheart deal, particularly an actor like China, they are not doing it without getting something in return. They are not that stupid.
This is the problem we have had in Washington for quite some time. We have issues with people on both sides of the aisle. It is not just one side of the aisle.
This sort of effort by foreign governments and foreign entities to strike bargains with members of the American political elite and members of the political elite, first and foremost, the Bidens, their willingness to strike these deals ought to appall people. Generally, when they learn about them, they do.
The problem is the way that rules are written in Washington DC, they are written by the political class themselves. They carve out certain things. Think about this for a second. If Joe Biden owns $2,500 in General Electric stock, he is required to disclose that based on the disclosure rules that were passed by Congress.
If he gets a $250 campaign contribution from a GE executive, it is disclosed by the FEC. If his adult son flying on Air Force Two, clearly close with the vice president, strikes a series of deals with a foreign government that are lucrative and beneficial to him, there is no requirement for disclosure -- which, to me, is shocking.
One of the things that has to change is that we need greater transparency. The political class in Washington is very corrupt. They are very creative. It is like water running downhill. You put up a barrier and it finds a way around it.
That is what they often do with these rules and laws. If you create a ban on certain types of commercial activities involving members of the political class' family, they find a way around it.
The great gold mine that they have discovered are these foreign entities. With Hunter Biden, you have these deals in China. You also have the deal in Ukraine that everybody's familiar with. Again, where he gets a million dollars a year from a foreign, corrupt energy company in Ukraine right after his father is appointed point person on Ukraine policy.
He is given a million dollars a year by a company even though he has no background in Ukraine and no background in energy. Everybody knows what is going on. Unfortunately, it is legal.
There ought to at minimum be a requirement that you disclose any foreign dealings involving the family members of politicians, Republican, Democrat, executive branch, legislative branch. That would be very, very helpful. The way you discuss this and you explain this to people is: It is not a question about what is legal.
There are lots of things that are legal in Washington that are highly corrupt. The key thing is, does this compromise Joe Biden? The fact that his son has a series of deals that they tried to cover up, and that they have lied about, with a foreign government, our chief rival on the global stage, does that put the president of the United States in a compromised position?
Has he done favors for that foreign power? One of the things that the great Roger Robinson has been working on. He does a lot of work in the equities markets. He is looking into the fact that in 2013, the Obama administration signed a letter which said that the Chinese companies listed in the New York Stock Exchange did not have to conform to Sarbanes‑Oxley auditing and some of the other requirements that US and other foreign firms do.
It is quite a cutout for the Chinese. They are still trying to figure out who is at the bottom of it. There are indications that there are Biden fingerprints.
In addition, President Biden talks very favorably towards China, he does not challenge them in the South China Sea and elsewhere, you have something very tangible of benefit to China that Joe Biden has done while his son was given these sweetheart deals by the Chinese government.
The Chinese Communist Party wanted Joe Biden elected. They did not want President Donald Trump. In the words of, I think, the Global Times publication from Beijing, they think that Biden is smoother than Donald Trump, which is probably the understatement of the week.
Clearly, they do not like Trump's posture towards them. Trump continued to send ships to navigate the South China Sea much to their consternation. He strengthened our ties with Taiwan. He strengthened our ties with other allies in Asia. He took aggressive postures related to trade, technology transfer.
He was very clear and outspoken about the fact that COVID‑19 has origins in China and that China certainly did not act as an international partner in the way that they alerted or failed to alert us regarding that virus. The question about blackmail, to be blunt about it, is, are they going to need to blackmail Joe Biden? Joe Biden's posture towards China is incredibly soft.
Something may emerge but I am not sure there is something that they want that he is not already prepared to give them. He certainly has a very different attitude towards trade with China than President Trump did.
He has been far less outspoken on the South China Sea. He continues to insist, "Oh, they are friends, we've got nothing to worry about."
I'm not sure that the Chinese would have to blackmail the Bidens to get a lot of what they want. China has flexed its muscles with politicians in Australia, in New Zealand. This is the way they work. They are very shrewd.
They do not strike partnerships or collaborate on commercial relationships with political elites in the West unless they are getting something in return. They are not running a charity. President Xi is not running a Biden charity. He is running a country that wants to surpass the United States strategically. They are going to pull those levers if they need to. Generally, Biden's posture towards them is the posture they want.
There is no question that the Obama White House would have to know about that, and that President Biden would have to know about that. CGN, you can google it now and it will give you the case information. They had engineer executives that pled guilty in the case.
Joe Biden is well aware of what is going on. He clearly understands what is going on. What we need is on Capitol Hill for the Senate committees, where the Republicans are in control, to look seriously at this stuff.
It is like a lot of other countries that are highly dependent on the United States. In this particular case, they very aggressively struck a deal with the vice president's son to make money, but it is far more important in my mind to look at what is our chief rival China done.
The VAT Committee is spending a lot of time on China. The China stuff demands further attention. There has been zero curiosity by the mainstream media.
On Capitol Hill, there have been far too many people sitting on their hands, not wanting to discuss it, either because perhaps they are looking for similar types of deals themselves, or they do not have the stomach to go there because they are concerned about issues that might reflect poorly on them.
I think with the Chinese funding of over $20 million of the Biden Center of the University of Pennsylvania is deeply troubling. This has been the strategy that China has adopted. We need to remember that China is a Leninist State. They do not have the Marxism Leninism that the Soviet Union had in some respects. They have a more vibrant private sector than the Soviet Union ever did even under Gorbachev.
There is no question that the Communist Party of China runs China, and commercial ventures in China need to be approved by the party. All major companies have party committees that are embedded in them.
If I understand the ruling correctly, the Chinese Communist Party, just recently, a couple of years ago required the CEO of any company to be on that Chinese Communist Party committee that is embedded within their own company.
It should not surprise us that they are going to employ Leninist strategies for their strategic advantage. Not only for the Bidens. You see people on Wall Street. You see some of the big firms.
I would put Goldman Sachs and Blackstone in that category; they are entities that have been willing to turn a blind eye, and to say wonderful things about China that are simply not true -- given the way that the Chinese Communist rule -- in exchange for access and making money in the Chinese market.
It is a huge problem. The Bidens are complicit in it. The Bidens cashed in while he was vice president of the United States. He did not have any of these deals until he became vice president.
I think at that point, the Chinese realized, "This is a guy we want to do deals with. This is a guy that will be helpful to us in advancing our interest. Let's strike a bargain," and that is why they struck a bargain with the Biden family.
Let's be honest about it. If Donald Trump Jr. flew over on Air Force One to Beijing, China with his father and got a billion‑and‑a‑half‑dollar deal, let's say in the energy sector, where he has no experience, the mainstream media would be all over that story.
I would be all over that story for good reason, but there has been a complete lack of curiosity by the media, and even, as we have seen, suppression.
My hope is that people will start paying attention to this issue. We will start being a lot more aware that members of our political class are doing these kinds of deals overseas, and they are being paid by the foreign government. It should not be tolerated. Even if it is legal, it should not be tolerated just because they have written the rules in such a way to benefit themselves.
Peter Schweizer, President of the Governmental Accountability Institute, is a Gatestone Institute Distinguished Senior Fellow and author of the new book, Red Handed: How American Elites are Helping China Win.
This article is an updated version of an address by Peter Schweizer to Gatestone Institute