Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, September 22, 2019
The Senate Finance Committee has announced it will investigate the Obama administration’s approval in 2015 of the sale to China of a former U.S. firm which develops dual-use technologies with military applications.
Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), a Chinese state-run military contractor, acquired Henniges Automotive with a 51 percent stake purchase. The remaining 49 percent was purchased by Bohai Harvest RST (BHR), a private equity firm founded by then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and funded with $1.5 billion from the Chinese government via the Bank of China.
“Clearly this was a Chinese effort to curry favor with the Bidens by helping make Joe Biden’s son rich,” Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute, said in a Sept. 20 interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight.
Related: Joe Biden’s additional problems: Ukraine, China and his son, April 3, 2019
“The Chinese government works to gain political allies in the United States by striking commercial deals with the family members of powerful politicians,” said Schweizer, “and exhibit A in that — it’s not even close when you look at the amount of money and the volume of deals that took place — is with Hunter Biden, with Joe Biden’s son, while he was vice president.”
“[BHR] was buying companies that were involved in America’s high-tech sector, and companies that had dual-use technologies [with both] civilian applications and military applications,” Schweizer noted. “Henniges produces precision-tuned anti-vibration technologies.”
The Chinese government’s acquisition of Henniges “required the approval of the Obama administration” and “Hunter Biden’s help,” added Schweizer, “and lo and behold, the Obama administration gave them exactly that approval.”
Schweizer addressed the Obama administration’s approval of China’s acquisition of Henniges Automotive via the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which he described as an opaque governmental body broadly exempted from public transparency measures.
“CFIUS … is a very secretive body,” said Schweizer.”They don’t release any documents, generally. You can’t even obtain [documents pertaining to] everything they do through the Freedom of Information Act, and the rationale is, ‘Well, we’re talking about company secrets and technologies, so we don’t want to give away any of those trade secrets.’ That may apply in some cases, but generally, I think that’s just a ridiculous excuse that allows them to not be accountable for the decisions that they make. The problem with this deal is that there’s no question that this purchase of Henniges had military application.”
Schweizer summarized, “The Obama administration approved a deal where the son of the then-sitting vice president, in partnership with a Chinese government investment firm and a Chinese military contractor, purchased an American technology machine tool parts company that had military application.”
He added: “What’s truly shocking about the Hunter Biden deal with the Chinese is not just that the Chinese were helping the son of the sitting vice president get rich, it’s the fact that the vice president’s son was involved in this Henniges deal which ended up helping the Chinese military. He was involved in another deal called CGN — Chinese General Nuclear — which is a Chinese nuclear company that was implicated in spying — stealing nuclear secrets from the United States — by the FBI. Executives from that company have been arrested. These are firms that Hunter Biden’s investment firm is involved in, and Hunter Biden sits on the board of directors of this Chinese government-funded investment company. It’s truly shocking. It’s not just your run-of-the-mill cronyism and a guy getting rich because of who his dad is. These are very serious national security issues and the Bidens just, frankly looked the other way and were glad to take the money.”
“One of the basic questions we need [answered] is, was there pressure brought to bear?” asked Schweizer of CFIUS’s 2015 approval of China’s acquisition of Henniges Automotive. “Were there people connected to Biden that were involved in making that decision?’ ”
“All we know is that there apparently were no objections [at CFIUS],” said Schweizer. “If the deal would have been stopped temporarily because of a concern and had gone to the president, we would actually have public knowledge of that. That has happened a few times in the past, and I think since CFIUS was opened in 1975, I think I am correct in saying there has not been a single case of a president in effect saying, ‘Well, you object, but we’re going through with it,’ so usually if a government agency objects on some grounds, a deal is dead. There is no evidence that there were any objections in this case because there was no reporting as such.”
Schweizer continued: “It appears as if all the government agencies said, ‘We have no problem with this.’ What I think Senator Grassley wants to know is, was this just a case of nobody paying attention? In other words, people were either incompetent or just not engaged? Or was there something more nefarious? Was there public or political pressure brought to bear? Again, this is the son of the vice president. Vice President Biden was the point man on U.S. policy towards China, and his son was involved with this deal, so was there pressure brought to bear? Did the vice president [or] did people at White House reach out to people in CFIUS? That’s what I think Senator Grassley wants to know.”
“Hunter Biden and the Biden family have lied about this deal from the beginning. When Secret Empires came out last year, it was a number one New York Times bestseller. They poo-pooed it and said, ‘No, it’s not true.’ We finally got some of the mainstream media to ask them questions about this, and ABC news did exactly that, and what the Bidens did was lie about it. They said it wasn’t really that big of a deal.”
Schweizer concluded: “A guy like Joe Biden who’s been in public life for more than 30 years in government office … has to disclose a $500 campaign contribution. He has to disclose a $200 campaign contribution. He has to disclose that he owns like a $1000 in GE stock, and we have these rules because we need to know what entanglements or what relationships or connections there are between a politician like Joe Biden and his donors, so he needs to disclose that. And isn’t this good that we have this transparency? But a billion-dollar-plus deal that his adult son does with a foreign government — the Chinese government, that is our chief rival — there’s no disclosure requirement for that. None. Zip. Nada. That shows you how crazy the situation has become.”