Hunter Biden’s partnership with a Beijing military firm to form a Chinese investment company is under scrutiny.
BHR Partners, the investment firm that included President Joe Biden’s son on its board and held 10% of the stake, collaborated with AVIC Automotive, a subsidiary of China’s Aviation Industry Corporation of China (or AVIC) to buy Henniges Automotive, a Michigan-based company. This was in September 2015.
AVIC, a Chinese military company, is considered to be the largest defense company worldwide. It was well-known to have supported the People’s Liberation Army during the period that BHR did business. The company also publicly praised its role in the construction of jets for China’s military force. Prior to Hunter Biden’s alliance with it, multiple AVIC subsidiaries were sanctioned.
Since 1990, the U.S. has considered China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corporation (or CATIC) a key AVIC subsidiary.
“The government is well aware of the security threats posed by AVIC, its subsidiaries and other entities. Since at least the early ’90s, we know that this organization is controlled and influenced by the Chinese communist regime. This is not in America’s best interests,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), told the Washington Examiner. The Committee on Foreign Investment in America should have raised alarm bells about this transaction. Any American businessperson with any integrity would realize that partnering up with AVIC means choosing money over country.
George H.W. Bush Bush issued a January 1990 order stating that CATIC could “take action that threatens the national security of America.”
In 1998, the House Select Committee on China raised concerns about AVIC. The Government Accountability Office detailed a plan by CATIC in 1996 to have McDonnell Douglas, based in the USA, “co-produce 40 MD-80/MD-90 aircraft in China for its domestic ‘trunks’ routes.”
In 1999, the Justice Department charged CATIC with violating the Export Administration Act as well as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. This was in relation to details regarding a 1994 sale by American machining equipment. Some of this equipment was diverted to a Chinese military base.
According to the New York Times, TAL Industries, a Chinese state-run company, pleaded guilty in 2001 to a felony crime of violating U.S. export laws. CATIC was previously sanctioned under the Arms Export Control Act, 1999, and again in 2005 and 2006.
The AVIC website made clear in 2015 that it included both aviation and defense business units. This was before the Hunter Biden team up. According to the “AVIC Evolution” section, the company was the successor of the Chinese Ministry of Aerospace Industry.
BHR stated in September 2015 that Henniges was its “delighted to announce” purchase. Rhodium Group, a data research firm, stated in 2015 that Henniges’ acquisition by AVIC (and BHR) was the largest Chinese investment in U.S. automobile manufacturing assets.
BHR published a report in 2016 highlighting the firm’s historical relationships with China’s State-Owned Enterprises, advising them on overseas strategies. It also stated that AVIC Auto was an important “strategic partner.”
According to records retrieved from China’s National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System in March 2023, Hunter Biden’s Skaneateles are still identified as 10% owner in BHR. U.S. business records also continue to show Hunter Biden as the sole beneficial owner of Skaneateles.
In March 2022, Washington’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs informed Washington Examiner that no filings have been submitted for Skaneateles in the past two years. A report filed for the entity in October 2021 listed Hunter Biden the sole “governor”.
Skaneateles has been listed as “revoked” in the DCRA’s online company registry. This is because the LLC has not paid a $300 “reinstatement fees”, a representative from the DCRA told The Washington Examiner.
Chris Clark, a Biden lawyer, stated to the New York Times in November 2021 that his client no longer held any interest in BHR or Skaneateles. This was the LLC that Hunter owned and which also held his 10% stake in the Chinese investment company. Clark declined to give more details in 2022 about this, including how much Hunter might have made from BHR.