Former Vice President Joe Biden may have the edge in national polls, but he’s flailing in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire. On Thursday, former Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed him in an effort to bolster the former VP. This endorsement, however, should remind Americans of the unsavory business practices of Biden’s son and Kerry’s stepson, who raked in cash while their fathers went soft on China despite its aggressive campaign to dominate the South China Sea.
“During a critical eighteen-month period of diplomatic negotiations between Washington and Beijing, the Biden and Kerry families and friends pocketed major cash from companies connected to the Chinese government,” Peter Schweizer writes in his book Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends.
The vice president’s youngest son, Hunter Biden, teamed up with Chris Heinz, a wealthy heir to the late Senator John Heinz, whose wife Teresa had married John Kerry. The two formed Rosemont Capital, an alternative investment firm “positioned to strike profitable deals overseas with foreign governments and officials with whom the U.S. government was negotiating.”
Devon Archer, Chris Heinz’s roommate at Yale and star fundraiser for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential run, joined them at Rosemont. Federal agents would later arrest Archer in May 2016 for defrauding a Native American tribe in an effort to enrich a branch of Rosemont Capital, Rosemont Seneca Bohai.
When Vice President Biden went to China in December 2013 amid the South China Sea aggression, his son Hunter went with him. Hunter Biden was negotiating a major deal between Rosemont Seneca and the state-owned Bank of China. Ten days after the Bidens visited China, the Bank of China — which is embedded in a complex network with the Communist Party, and which provides capital for China’s economic statecraft — created an investment fund with Rosemont Seneca called Bohai Harvest RST (BHR).
“In short, the Chinese government was literally funding a business that it co-owned along with the sons of two of America’s most powerful decision makers,” Schweizer explains. Rosemont Seneca received a benefit no other Western firm had in China — “a private equity cross-border investment fund formed in the Chinese government’s Shanghai Free-Trade Zone.”
In July 2014, Kerry visited China. While the Chinese government had disliked Hillary Clinton’s “unipolar voice,” they found Kerry a much more willing ally. When President Xi Jinping called for a commitment to “boost Sino-US economic ties,” Kerry echoed this call. “China and the United States represent the greatest economic alliance trading partnership in the history of humankind,” he said.
Meanwhile, a former subsidiary of the Chinese government, Gemini Investments, aimed to purchase Rosemont Realty, another branch of the Rosemont Capital tree run by Hunter Biden, Chris Heinz, and Devon Archer.
Schweizer also linked the trio’s business interests in China to the Middle Kingdom’s theft of American military technology.
Hunter Biden has attracted attention in recent months as Democrats seek to impeach President Donald Trump for asking his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate potential corruption with the gas company Burisma, where Hunter Biden joined the board despite lacking experience in the energy sector. Joe Biden threatened to withdraw military funding from Ukraine in order to get a prosecutor fired. That prosecutor happened to have been investigating Burisma at the time.
He appears to have used his father’s position to sell political influence in both Ukraine and China, and the impeachment effort has drawn attention to his dealings.
On a more sordid note, a recent DNA test has confirmed that Hunter Biden cheated on his dead brother’s widow when he was dating her.
Of course, most mainstream media outlets won’t focus on the Hunter Biden angle. Instead, they zero in on the horserace, noting that Kerry — a former presidential candidate as well as Obama’s secretary of State — will likely help Biden’s chances in Iowa.
The website 538 tracks endorsements, and Biden is far ahead of the pack on this score. The former VP has 161 endorsement points, weighted to the prominence of the person endorsing him. As a former presidential nominee, Kerry was worth 5 points. Democrats from across the country have backed Biden, but his strongest support came in Delaware, which he long represented in the U.S. Senate.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) have 65 points and 59 points, respectively, also mostly from their home states. Bernie Sanders (48), Amy Klobuchar (47), and Pete Buttigieg (25) trail considerably.
Even so, the Democratic establishment is torn on Biden, and both former Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Mass.) and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have entered the race, likely due to perceived weakness on the VP’s part.
Hunter Biden is a huge liability for his father, and this endorsement from John Kerry should draw attention to that fact.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.