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Chinese donors linked to Hunter Biden funneled $105 million to university that hosts Joe Biden think-tank

By Ben Marquis
|
May 17, 2023

When Joe Biden's tenure as vice president in the Obama administration ended in 2017, he linked up with the University of Pennsylvania as a well-compensated honorary professor, and a year later established a think tank known as the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.

It has now been revealed through a watchdog group that the University of Pennsylvania has received since 2018 more than $100 million in foreign contributions from Chinese donors with links to the Chinese Communist Party and/or Hunter Biden's business dealings, the Daily Mail reported.

Notably, a Washington D.C. office that then-former Vice President Biden established for the Penn Biden Center was one of the sites where classified documents from the Obama administration -- that he was not authorized to retain possession of -- were quietly found in late 2022, though that discovery was only revealed to the public by leaks to the media in early 2023.

In response to the revelations about the Chinese contributions, however, UPenn has asserted that its Biden-linked think tank did not receive any of the China-linked donations to the university.

Donors Linked to Hunter Biden Business Deals

Fox News was the first to report on the findings of a conservative-leaning watchdog group known as Americans for Public Trust in regard to the Chinese donations to UPenn following President Biden's time as vice president in the Obama administration.

It had previously only been known that UPenn had received tens of millions in donations from anonymous donors from China as of 2017, but it has now been revealed that the school raked in more than $105 million from Chinese donors from mid-2018 to mid-2022, including around $75 million alone from sources in China and Hong Kong during Biden's 2020 presidential run.

The watchdog group has further discovered the identities of the sources of most of the donors and many of them are reportedly linked to the CCP and/or Hunter Biden's business ventures.

One such example is a $1 million donation in 2019 from Cathay Fortune, a private equity firm that controlled China Molybdenum, now known as CMOC Group Ltd, which in 2016 purchased a cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo with assistance from a private equity investment firm known as Bohai Harvest RST, which was formed in 2013 by Hunter Biden along with some Chinese business associates.

Another example of questionable donations to UPenn is that of $5.5 million in 2018-2019 from China Merchant Bank, which was previously run by chief executive officer Ma Weihua, who was also a member of the China Entrepreneur Club, a group of Chinese businessmen who met with then-Vice President Biden in 2011 in a meeting arranged by Hunter Biden's then-business partner Devon Archer.

Donors Linked to CCP

Some of the UPenn foreign donors have been directly linked to the Chinese Communist Party, including $14.5 million from 2019-2020 from Hopson Education Charitable Funds Limited (HECFL), which is owned by Chinese real estate billionaire Chu Mang Yee, who sat on a major advisory board for the CCP and has holdings in other state-owned companies.

UPenn also received more than $3 million between 2020-2022 from Tao Zheng, who previously ran a CCP-linked tech company known as Meituan-Dianping, as well as $2 million in 2020 from Chinese billionaire Ge Li, who founded the CCP-linked Chinese pharmaceutical company known as WuXi AppTec.

One final example is that of Chinese billionaire Ma Jianrong, the CEO of Shenzhou International, who gave at least $500,000 to UPenn in 2022. Jianrong, who is a known member of the CCP, has been accused of using forced labor in his factories.

American People Deserve Answers About Biden Financial Links to CCP

These revelations about the Chinese donors to UPenn follow the recent disclosure from the House Oversight Committee of a "web of LLCs" used by multiple members of the Biden family to facilitate and disguise the origin of at least $10 million from foreign nationals and companies, many of which are directly linked to the CCP and the Chinese government.

The executive director of the APT watchdog group, Caitlain Sutherland, told the Washington Examiner, "On the heels of learning that the Biden family received millions of dollars from foreign entities, this latest revelation raises further questions about the scope of President Biden's ties to China."

"We now know that the University of Pennsylvania -- home to Joe Biden's namesake think tank -- received a massive increase in contributions from China and Hong Kong as he was ramping up his presidential campaign, and has raked in millions from CCP-tied donors since he took office," she added. "The president owes the American people answers about the depth of his financial connections to foreign nationals who are undercutting our nation's security and prosperity."

Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (KY-01) told the Examiner, "It’s no surprise that Chinese donors who engaged in shady deals with Hunter Biden have donated to the University of Pennsylvania," and added, "The American people deserve to know whether the Chinese Communist Party, through Chinese companies, influenced potential Biden administration policies with large, anonymous donations to UPenn and the Penn Biden Center."

However, a spokesperson for UPenn told the Daily Mail, "No foreign funds were contributed anonymously, and no foreign funds were directed to the Penn Biden Center," and added, "Penn reported all foreign contributions as required, and they have been publicly available on the Department of Education website for some time."