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China refuses Trump’s call to investigate Biden

From left, China's President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands on Nov. 9, 2017, during a meeting outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (Artyom Ivanov/Tass/Abaca Press/TNS)
October 08, 2019

China has pledged to steer clear of politics in the United States, despite comments from President Donald Trump that the country should look into former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s dealings in the country.

“We have no intention of intervening in the domestic affairs of the United States. Our position is consistent and clear,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the South China Morning Post Tuesday. Geng reiterated China’s stated policy of noninterference in the affairs of other countries.

“China has long pursued the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” Geng said.

The Chinese response follows Thursday comments from Trump, in which he rejected accusations of wrong-doing in a July call in which he discussed investigating Biden with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump had previously raised the issue of Biden appearing to pressure Ukrainian officials to fire a prosecutor investigating a Ukrainian gas company where he son Hunter served on the board of directors.

Trump has suggested Biden’s time as Vice President came at the illicit benefit of various family members and he suggested his son Hunter not only gained from his father’s diplomatic work in Ukraine, but in other countries like China.

“By the way, likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine,” Trump said Thursday.

Trump’s Thursday comments did not appear to specify what wrongdoing he believed either the father or son Biden were involved in, and his comments drew criticism from both Democrats, who called for an impeachment inquiry on Trump’s prior call with Ukraine, as well as some Republicans such as Utah Senator Mitt Romney.

Separately, the South China Morning Post reported that the Chinese state-backed BHR Equity Investment Fund Management would conduct an “internal study” of whether and how to explain how the younger Biden came to be a member of the firm’s board of directors.

Filings in the Chinese government’s National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System corporate-database do confirm Hunter is a director of the firm. While his pictures and profiles were also visible on the firm’s website as recently as last week, they can no longer be seen in current searches.

The younger Biden inked a $1 billion deal with a subsidiary of the state-owned Bank of China in 2013. The deal, which established BHR Equity Investment Fund Management, came just 12 days after Hunter stepped off an Air Force 2 flight alongside then-Vice President Biden, according to the New York Post. Despite the younger Biden’s apparent lack of experience in Chinese diplomacy and limited experience in private equity, BHR won Chinese business opportunities over rival firms like Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs.

The private deal also reportedly carried national security implications. BHR became an “anchor investor” in the initial public offering for the state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corp. (CGN). The US Justice Department charged CGN in 2016 with stealing nuclear secrets from the U.S.

While Trump has been accused in both his call with the Ukrainian President and his recent comments to China of soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 Presidential election against a Democratic opponent, Trump has insisted his comments were legitimate calls to counter corruption.