Hunter Biden had direct access to Chinese leaders, thanks to low-key Taiwan businessman: report

Published (HKT): 2020.10.16 17:28

A businessman from Taiwan, Michael Lin, made use of his background to help Hunter Biden to build up business connections in mainland China that directly reached senior members of the Communist Party and Chinese tycoons, the Apple Daily edition in Taiwan said in an exclusive report based on U.S. official investigative material.

Hunter Biden made at least six trips to China during the vice presidency of his father, Joe Biden, in the United States from 2009 to 2017, according to files from the U.S. Secret Service. The documents showed that in all the trips, the middleman was Lin, believed to be the broker for the junior Biden’s investments in China.

A native of Taiwan, Lin was a graduate of the prestigious Yale University and used to work for foreign investment banks. When he first developed a career on the mainland, he joined the international investment department of the Founder Group, a well-known Chinese state-owned enterprise set up by Peking University.

Lin was known to go about his affairs in a low-profile manner. In 2007, he set up the Thornton Group, a cross-border investment advisory company in Boston, with James Bulger, son of former Massachusetts Senate president William Bulger.

The Thornton Group maintained a very close relationship with the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, which was a non-profit-making, cross-party and independent group on the surface. But the directors and members of the SLLF were influential figures who had the legislative and political leaderships of the various U.S. states all but covered, while the SLLF advisory panel comprised representatives from multinational corporations and other organizations.

With the help of his background, Lin expanded his business network, making his way from the Founder Group to Peking University and finally to the National People’s Congress, the highest state organ and the national legislature of China.

It was understood that in 2007, when the Thornton Group first entered the Chinese market, Lin arranged SLLF representatives to meet senior management of the Communist Party and mainland magnates, including NPC Standing Committee vice chair Xu Jialu and former Founder Group president Wei Xin.

According to the report, the Thornton Group organized a number of exchange activities between American and Chinese officials in the first three years; interactions with the NPC foreign affairs committee and the Communist Party’s United Front Work Department were particularly frequent.

Lin was said to be making good use of the name of Hunter Biden at the time, with political and business figures in China all interested to get in touch with the second son of the then U.S. vice president.

In 2010, Lin helped Hunter Biden carry out his first visit to China in the latter’s capacity as vice president of Rosemont Seneca, a Washington-based investment and advisory firm founded by Devon Archer, Christopher Heinz and Biden himself. They met many members of management from core investment institutions, many of whom later became business partners of Biden in China.

In 2012, Biden sealed his first deal with a Chinese state-owned enterprise. His firm, Seneca Global Advisors, completed the year’s biggest agreement in foreign investment with venture capital. Xi Jinping, who was Chinese vice president at the time, attended the contract signing ceremony in Los Angeles, California.

A year later, Thornton Group and Rosemont Seneca Partners joined hands with two Chinese-registered asset managers backed by state banks to establish BHR Partners, a Sino-U.S. private investment firm.

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