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When Patrick Ho was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Nov. 18, 2017, the former Hong Kong government official made one phone call: to James B. Biden, the younger brother of the former U.S. vice president, an acquaintance whose number he had on hand. The well-connected Hong Konger asked Biden for a lawyer.
Ho was going to need a good one. The U.S. Department of Justice was planning to indict him for using his connections at the United Nations to bribe a U.N. General Assembly president along with several African government officials.
The arrest attracted media attention because of Ho’s link to a powerful Chinese energy conglomerate, CEFC China Energy. Ho ran the energy company’s think tank, China Energy Fund Committee, an NGO affiliated with the U.N. that had offices in New York, Virginia and Hong Kong.
The former Hong Kong official was indicted on a number of foreign bribery and money-laundering charges, but the investigation surrounding Ho, his nonprofit and its parent company, and the United Nations wasn’t about just corruption. A flurry of recent court filings reveal that the government collected at least some of Ho’s communications under a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a secret order used to monitor suspected foreign agents.
And records related to the case — including documents submitted by Ho’s own attorney — now connect Ho’s alleged payments to promotion of a major Beijing foreign policy push called the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature venture advancing investment and infrastructure projects around the world. Belt and Road isn’t about only inking business deals; it offers a sweeping vision of a China-centric political and economic global order, one in which countries depend on China, not the West, for prosperity.
Ho’s case may illustrate another, more serious aspect of Beijing’s operations abroad: an attempt to influence the most prominent symbol of the global rules-based order, the United Nations. And the Ho case is not an isolated event. Since 2015, U.S. officials have successfully prosecuted two other related cases of China-linked nonprofits being used to funnel money to U.N officials.
originally posted by: Sabrechucker
Donald J. Trump
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.....of money spent on protecting other countries, and we get nothing but Trade Deficits and Losses. It is time that these very rich countries either pay the United States for its great military protection, or protect themselves...and Trade must be made FREE and FAIR!