Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s second son, helped facilitate China’s acquisition of Henniges Automotive explained Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute and senior contributor at Breitbart News, in a Friday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Rick Manning.
He called the Senate Finance Committee’s decision to probe the Obama administration’s 2015 approval of the sale of Henniges Automotive as a “wonderful development.”
Schweizer examined China’s acquisition of Henniges Automotive — a formerly America-based company developing “dual-use” technologies with military applications — by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), a Chinese state-run military contractor. AVIC acquired Henniges in 2015 with a 51 percent stake purchase. The remaining 49 percent was purchased by Bohai Harvest RST (BHR), a private equity firm founded by Hunter Biden and funded with $1.5 billion from the Chinese government via the Bank of China.
“The Chinese government works to gain political allies in the United States by striking commercial deals with the family members of powerful politicians,” explained 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.”
Schweizer added, “Clearly this was a Chinese effort to curry favor with the Bidens by helping make Joe Biden’s son rich.”
“[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 do’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 is 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 went on, “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. Government agencies are all supposed to do internal reviews and issue reports [asking], ‘What are the national security implications if this deal goes through? What are the possible negative repercussions for the United States? Does that warrant stopping this deal?'”
Mansour recalled, “Hunter Biden had zero background in private equity [and] zero background in China. There was absolutely no reason to give this little boutique firm that nobody had ever heard of this kind of lucrative deal if it weren’t for the fact that his last name is Biden.”
“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 the Bidens did was lie about it. They said it wasn’t really that big of a deal. … They continue to lie and deceive about the nature of this relationship, and frankly, if you have to lie about it that much, it indicates to me that you’re trying to cover things up, that you’re embarrassed about it, [and] you know that this is a problem.”
Mansour highlighted China’s use of private equity firms for the purpose of foreign acquisitions, reading from a 2017 U.S. Chamber of Commerce report titled, “Made in China 2025: Global Ambitions Built on Local Protections”:
In Several MIC 2025 sectors, the technological gap between domestic and foreign competitors is significant, and closing that gap would require extended timelines and high levels of financial commitment that could stress budgets. To accelerate the learning process, the state appears to be supporting acquisition strategies of Chinese state-owned and state-supported companies tied to MIC 2025 priority sectors.
China is also injecting state funds into private equity to fund foreign acquisitions. … Elements of China’s outbound investment strategy that are tied to industrial policy are contributing to growing global concern about Chinese acquisitions of foreign technology.
“One of the reasons why our manufacturing sector has been cannibalized is because of what our financial sector has been doing,” added Mansour. She shared the following excerpt from an article entitled, “Why Private Equity Should Not Exist”: “When I reported on the problem of financialization destroying our national security capacity, one of the manufacturers I talked to told me about how the ‘LBO boys’ – or Leveraged Buy Out Boys – took apart factories in the midwest and shipped them to China.”
China politically sanitizes its foreign acquisitions by involving family members of American politicians in its deals, explained Schweizer.
“If you’re somebody working in the bowels of the Chinese government [and] you want to buy high-technology military-sensitive companies in the United States, one of the first things you’re going to do is, you’re going to wrap those deals in a package that includes the family members of American politicians, and the reason for that is, it puts a friendly gloss on it,” he remarked. “So when this deal comes up before CIFIUS review in Washington, D.C, does anybody doubt that it is at least going to be whispered that the son of the vice president is involved in some of these companies? Does anybody doubt that that is put there to make it more friendly and more benign? Does anybody doubt that you’re going to involve the family members of politicians because you want them to buy in and to gain from this strategy that you’re carrying out? That’s precisely the reason you get it.”
Schweizer continued, “Hunter Biden got this deal with the Chinese government to set up this investment fund. They didn’t give it to Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan or anyone else that had far more experience. it’s because they didn’t need experience. What they needed was political cover, and Hunter Biden was apparently prepared to give them that cover. … This is a bipartisan problem, and you’re going to have political figures and their family members who are going to be all too glad to essentially sell out the national security interests to the United States if they can make a killing with an investment.”
“There are very powerful commercial interests in Washington, D.C. that want things kind of moving along the way that they always have, and they don’t want the boat rocked, because there’s a lot of money to be made in these deals, and there’s certainly going to be pressure from those individuals for this information not to be turned over to Senator Grassley and his committee,” he warned.
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.”
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