My frustration is not that the reporting on Trump has been too tough, but that the reporting on the Obama administration has been way too soft or in some cases nonexistent. – Peter Schweizer
In December of 2013, Vice President Biden and his son Hunter Biden flew to China on Air Force Two.
Ten days after the trip, a subsidiary of the Bank of China signed a deal with Hunter Biden’s investment firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners, to form a $1 billion joint-venture investment fund called Bohai Harvest RST.
The deal was later increased to $1.5 billion.
Rosemont Seneca Partners is an investment LLC under the ownership umbrella of Rosemont Capital.
Unlike most financial firms, Rosemont is headquartered in Washington DC.
Rosemont Capital, formed in 2009, is controlled by Hunter Biden and Christopher Heinz, the stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry.
Also involved is Devon Archer, a longtime Heinz and Kerry friend. Archer was a fundraiser for Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.
A third partner in the China deal was the Thornton Group – headed by Whitey Bulger’s nephew, James Bulger.
The information was revealed in Peter Schweizer’s new book, Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends.
From an excerpt in the New York Post:
The American delegation was visiting Japan, China, and South Korea. But it was the visit to China that had the most potential to generate conflict and controversy. The Obama administration had instituted the “Asia Pivot” in its international strategy, shifting attention away from Europe and toward Asia, where China was flexing its muscles.
For Hunter Biden, the trip coincided with a major deal that Rosemont Seneca was striking with the state-owned Bank of China. From his perspective, the timing couldn’t have been better.
Vice President Biden, Hunter Biden arrived to a red carpet and a delegation of Chinese officials. The delegation was then whisked to a meeting with Vice President Li Yuanchao and talks with President Xi Jinping.
Hunter and Finnegan Biden joined the vice president for tea with US Ambassador Gary Locke at the Liu Xian Guan Teahouse in the Dongcheng District in Beijing. Where Hunter Biden spent the rest of his time on the trip remains largely a mystery.
What was not reported was the deal that Hunter was securing. Rosemont Seneca Partners had been negotiating an exclusive deal with Chinese officials, which they signed approximately 10 days after Hunter visited China with his father. The most powerful financial institution in China, the government’s Bank of China, was setting up a joint venture with Rosemont Seneca.
In 2009 Hunter Biden, Chris Heinz and Devon Archer formed Rosemont Capital – an alternative investment fund for the Heinz Family.
According to an email revealed as part of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, Rosemont described themselves as “a $2.4 billion private equity firm co-owned by Hunter Biden and Chris Heinz,” with Devon Archer as “Managing Partner.”
Rosemont Capital contains several funds – Rosemont Seneca Partners, Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners, and Rosemont Realty – separate legal entities owned by Rosemont Capital.
Rosemont Seneca Partners formed the joint venture with China – along with the Thorton Group.
Thornton Group is run by James Bulger, the nephew of mob figure James “Whitey” Bulger.
From Schweizer’s book:
James Bulger’s father, Whitey’s younger brother, Billy Bulger, serves on the board of directors of the Thornton Group. He was the longtime leader of the Massachusetts state Senate and, with their long overlap by state and by party, a political ally of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry.
In 2010, Hunter Biden and Devon Archer traveled to China to “explore the possibility of commercial cooperation and opportunity.”
They apparently found opportunity aplenty.
Schweizer on the first series of Chinese meetings in 2010:
Thornton Group’s account of the meeting on their Chinese-language website was telling:
Chinese executives “extended their warm welcome” to the “Thornton Group, with its US partner Rosemont Seneca chairman Hunter Biden (second son of the now Vice President Joe Biden).”
According to the Thornton Group, the three Americans met with the largest and most powerful government fund leaders in China — even though Rosemont was both new and small.
The timing of this meeting was also curious. It occurred just hours before Hunter Biden’s father, the vice president, met with Chinese President Hu in Washington as part of the Nuclear Security Summit.
In 2011, there was a second meeting between the Rosemont Seneca Partners and the same Chinese government fund managers:
There was a second known meeting with many of the same Chinese financial titans in Taiwan in May 2011. For a small firm like Rosemont Seneca with no track record, it was an impressive level of access to China’s largest financial players. And it was just two weeks after Joe Biden had opened up the US-China strategic dialogue with Chinese officials in Washington.
In December 2013, Hunter Biden flew with his father and Vice President Joe Biden aboard Air Force Two for the culmination of Rosemont’s joint venture investment fund with the Bank of China.
The new fund was named Bohai Harvest RST – or BHR. Bohai for China’s stake. RS for Rosemont Seneca. T for Thorton Group.
Of the known trips to China made by Hunter Biden, each one coincided with strategic foreign policy meetings between Vice President Joe Biden and the Chinese government.
Small wonder the Bank of China upped the final joint venture to $1.5 billion.
The Bank of China is an enormously powerful financial institution. But the Bank of China is very different from the Bank of America. The Bank of China is government-owned, which means that its role as a bank blurs into its role as a tool of the government. The Bank of China provides capital for “China’s economic statecraft,” as scholar James Reilly puts it. Bank loans and deals often occur within the context of a government goal.
The fund enjoyed an unusual and special status in China. BHR touted its “unique Sino-US shareholding structure” and “the global resources and network” that allowed it to secure investment “opportunities.” Funds were backed by the Chinese government.
In short, the Chinese government was literally funding a business that it co-owned along with the sons of two of America’s most powerful decision makers.
Schweizer notes some troubling transactions undertaken by the fund:
In 2015, BHR joined forces with the automotive subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned military aviation contractor Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to buy American “dual-use” parts manufacturer Henniges.
AVIC is a major military contractor in China. It operates “under the direct control of the State Council” and produces a wide array of fighter and bomber aircraft, transports, and drones — primarily designed to compete with the United States.
The company also has a long history of stealing Western technology and applying it to military systems. The year before BHR joined with AVIC, the Wall Street Journal reported that the aviation company had stolen technologies related to the US F-35 stealth fighter and incorporated them in their own stealth fighter, the J-31. AVIC has also been accused of stealing US drone systems and using them to produce their own.
Due to dual-use (military) vibration technologies owned by Henniges, the deal required approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
CFIUS is the same U.S. government entity that granted approval for the sale of Uranium One to Russia’s state atomic energy corporation, Rosatom, in October 2010.
You can find all the details behind Uranium One in, A Uranium One Primer – Clinton, Giustra & Kazakhstan’s Uranium Assets.
CFIUS approved the Bohai Harvest RST and AVIC acquisition of Henniges in 2015.
This transaction effectively gave the Chinese government a 76% ownership stake in Henniges (51% through AVIC and 25% through the Bank of China’s 50% stake in Bohai).
The timing of Schweizer’s new disclosures is interesting. By pure chance I recently wrote three pieces that included references to Hunter Biden:
Victor Pinchuk, the Clintons & Endless Connections – March 11, 2018.
New Details of Victoria Nuland’s Role in the Steele Dossier – March 14, 2018.
Victoria Nuland figures prominently in all three pieces, but Hunter and Joe Biden – along with the Atlantic Counsel – provided interesting roles as well.
From the March 11, 2018 article:
The Atlantic Counsel has been historically active in Ukraine through their Ukraine in Europe Initiative. More recently, on January 19, 2017, the Atlantic Counsel announced a partnership with Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Group.
Hunter Biden, former VP Joe Biden’s son, sits on Burisma’s board.
Biden was placed on Burisma’s board after Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt held a phone conversation regarding installation of Arseniy Yatsenyuk in place of then-Ukrainian President Yanukovych. Need of support from VP Biden was noted (more here):
On or before February 4 2014 – Call between Pyatt and Nuland discussing removal of Yanukovych and installation of Yatsenyuk.
February 22, 2014 – Yanukovych was removed as President of Ukraine.
April 18 2014 – Hunter Biden was appointed to the Board of Directors for Burisma – one of the largest natural gas companies in Ukraine.
April 22 2014 – VP Biden travels to Ukraine and offers support and $50 million in aid for Yatsenyuk’s shaky new government.
It appears that Hunter Biden had a habit of turning up in regions where his father, Vice President Joe Biden, was conducting foreign policy meetings.
The Atlantic Council has some notable participants:
Victor Pinchuk – a Ukrainian billionaire with long-standing ties to the Clinton Foundation is on the International Advisory Board of the Atlantic Counsel
Dimitry Alperovich – the CEO of Crowdstrike that “investigated” the hacking of the DNC’s servers is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at Atlantic.
James Clapper – Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, serves on the Atlantic Council’s International Advisory Board.
The Atlantic Council, along with the Brookings Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, were the subject of an unflattering portrayal in a New York Times article, Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks:
More than a dozen prominent Washington research groups have received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments in recent years while pushing United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities.
The think tanks do not disclose the terms of the agreements they have reached with foreign governments. And they have not registered with the United States government as representatives of the donor countries.
As noted, the Atlantic Council has long been involved in the Ukraine.
Hunter Biden remains on the Board of Directors for Burisma. It appears that Archer is no longer a board member.
Both Hunter Biden and Devon Archer remain at Rosemont.
Rosemont is a private equity firm and is not required to report its dealing and holdings publicly. Obtaining specific details is difficult.
Based on the few details revealed thus far, I will be surprised if more overlaps between VP Biden’s foreign policy ventures and Hunter Biden’s investments don’t turn up soon.