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NYT Report on Trump’s China Account Turns the Tables on His Party

The New York Times report comes as Trump said Biden will go ‘soft’ on China due to his son’s ‘business’ with it.

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The issue of US-China rivalry has once again taken centrestage in US elections after a New York Times report revealed that President Donald Trump maintains a bank account in China and has invested in companies and businesses directly or indirectly linked to China.

The report comes as Trump and his allies said that Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden will go ‘soft’ on China if elected as his son has had business dealings with the country.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Senate Republicans produced a report claiming that Biden’s son Hunter opened a bank account with a Chinese businessman.

Donald Trump Jr and his lawyer Rudolph W Giuliani also claimed that Hunter Biden “walked out of China” with $1.5 billion after accompanying Joe Biden on an official trip in 2013.

NYT cited various fact-checking sites to report that the huge figure was quoted from a a fund-raising goal set by an investment firm in which Hunter Biden obtained a 10 percent stake after Joe Biden left office.

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WHAT THE REPORT REVEALS ABOUT TRUMP’S CHINA BUSINESSES

According to the report, China is one of only three foreign nations — the others are Britain and Ireland — where President Trump has a bank account. The Chinese account is reportedly in the name of Trump International Hotels Management LLC which paid $188,561 in taxes to China from 2013 to 2015.

The report stated that Trump’s China business plans have been driven by this company and that in 2017, the company reported a spike in revenue of approximately $17.5 million.

The company in 2017 had a buyout of its management contract for the SoHo hotel in New York, which according to Bloomberg cost around $6 million.

Here are some other details that the the report revealed:

  • In 2008, Trump reportedly pursued an office tower project in Guangzhou that never materialised
  • One of Trump’s companies, THC China Development LLC, claimed $84,000 in deductions that year for travel costs, legal fees and office expenses
  • Trump partnered with one of China’s biggest government-controlled enterprises, the State Grid Corporation, for licensing and managing a development in Beijing but the deal fell through after corruption investigation by Chinese authorities on State Grid
  • Trump’s tax records show that he has invested at least $1,92,000 in five small companies created specifically to pursue projects in China over the years and those companies claimed at least $97,400 in business expenses since 2010
  • After winning the 2016 election, Trump reported selling a penthouse in one of his Manhattan buildings for $15.8 million to a Chinese-American businesswoman named Xiao Yan Chen, who runs an international consulting firm and reportedly has connections to the political elites in China

WHAT TRUMP’S LAWYER SAYS ABOUT THE CHINESE ACCOUNT

Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, told NYT that the company had “opened an account with a Chinese bank having offices in the United States in order to pay the local taxes” after establishing an office in China to explore the potential for hotel deals in Asia.

Garten further told NYT that no deals or other business activities ever materialised and, since 2015, the office has remained inactive and the bank account has never been used for any other purpose.

The report further said that these accounts do not show up on Trump’s public financial disclosures as his personal assets, because they are held under corporate names.

(With inputs from The New York Times.)

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