Hunter Biden profited from helping a Chinese firm acquire cobalt mines from an American company, according to a report released just days after President Joe Biden admitted the United States is “losing our edge” on Communist China in control of the essential natural resource.
“We risked losing our edge as a nation, and China and the rest of the world are catching up,” Biden admitted last week.
Communist China controls much of the raw minerals needed to create clean energy. A mineral named cobalt is specifically in high demand because it is used for the production of battery-powered vehicles.
While electric cars are highly subsidized by the United States government in order to reduce “climate change,” car manufactures must deal with China to obtain batteries made from cobalt.
Cobalt is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where more than two-thirds of the world’s cobalt supply originates, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
In recent years, American elites have allowed — if not enabled — Chinese-backed companies to buy “two of the country’s largest cobalt deposits over the past five years,” the New York Times reported.
The electric car revolution will live or die based on metals/minerals needed to power EV cars. Battery formulas will change/are changing. But cobalt is vital for now. Read this story on a grand, decades-long battle fought & lost by the the US for cobalt. https://t.co/ATzYCK2d96
— Eric Lipton (@EricLiptonNYT) November 21, 2021
One of those companies is a private equity firm registered in Shanghai in which Hunter Biden reportedly owned a stake, along with business partners Eric Schwerin and John Kerry’s stepson, Christopher Heinz. (John Kerry was Secretary of State under Barack Obama and now is President Biden’s climate envoy).
Hunter, Heinz, and Schwerin “joined Chinese partners in establishing the firm in 2013, known as BHR and formally named Bohai Harvest RST (Shanghai) Equity Investment Fund Management Company,” the Times reported.
Hunter, Heinz, and Schwerin reportedly owned 30 percent of the BHR while 70 percent of BHR was “controlled by Chinese investors that include the Bank of China, according to records filed with Chinese regulators.”
It should be noted the Bank of China possesses close ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
Just after then-Vice President Biden left office with Barack Obama in 2016, Hunter, Heinz, Schwerin, and Bank of China successfully “bought and later sold a stake in CATL, a fast-growing Chinese company that is now the world’s biggest maker of batteries for electric vehicles.”
The Times also reported that in 2016, a Chinese mining company, China Molybdenum, bought a cobalt mine for $2.65 billion from an American company named Freeport-McMoRan.
Through a complex web of transactions via shell companies, Hunter’s company, BHR, was reportedly a part of the purchase of Freeport-McMoRan with China Molybdenum, by raising money from Chinese investors to purchase ownership shares in the mine.
The transactions concluded with China Molybdenum owning 80 percent of the mine — a classic tale of the elites benefiting from the United States’ managed decline.
Hunter’s company reportedly obtained a ten percent share in the mine, which he sold to China Molybdenum from a Washington company named Skaneateles — which he also owns a stake in.
Skaneateles reportedly still owns a stake in BHR, though the Times reported Hunter “no longer holds any interest, directly or indirectly, in either BHR or Skaneateles,” according to Hunter’s lawyer Chris Clark.
It is unknown how much Hunter profited from using his network of connections while his father was vice president. Emails from Hunter’s laptop indicate “he was told on multiple occasions by his business partner Eric Schwerin that he could expect to receive significant payments from BHR beginning in 2019,” the Daily Caller reported in May.
The complex financial maneuvers have allegedly caught the eye of the FBI. In December of 2020, CNN announced the FBI had been investigating Hunter and his associates since 2018 for violating “tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China, according to two people briefed on the probe.”
The probe is reportedly still ongoing.
Nevertheless, Hunter’s business dealings have likely come at the expense of the United States. Instead of working to keep the United States in control of mines and natural resources across the globe, Hunter presumably divested the United States of energy resources by peddling his government connections.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø