So casino mogul & RNC official Steve Wynn is lobbying the president on behalf of the Chinese government. Amazing. https://t.co/Aqr1BQwHDV
— Neil King (@NKingofDC) October 23, 2017
From an American perspective, making Donald ‘Pissy Galore‘ Trump the James Bond stand-in pretty well guarantees a box-office failure. But in the booming Chinese viewing market, who can tell?
(All I know for certain is that it would be kharmic justice if every single individual name-checked in this story were to come to a bad end. But if anyone has better information, please share!)
The Wall Street Journal broke the story, which is some kind of indicator right there. (Since I don’t have a WSJ subscription, I found a screencap of the article, which may or may not have infected my laptop with unknown malware.)
The Guardian picked it up, today:
… The Wall Street Journal described a Chinese government attempt to put pressure on Guo Wengui, a real estate tycoon living in exile in New York, to halt his allegations of corruption in high places in China.
A group of officials from China’s ministry of state security, who entered the US on visas that did not allow them to conduct official business, visited Guo in his New York apartment in May, and used veiled threats in an attempt to persuade Guo to stop his accusatory tweets, which have a wide following in China, and return home. Guo shrugged off the pressure and made a recording of his conversation with the officials, part of which he posted online.
After that visit, FBI agents confronted the Chinese officials at New York’s Pennsylvania Station. The Chinese visitors first claimed to be cultural diplomats and then admitted they were security officials. The agents warned them they were violating the terms of their visa and told them to leave the country.
However, two days later, just before leaving the country, the Chinese officials paid a second visit to Guo, triggering a debate within the administration over whether they should be arrested. FBI agents were posted at John F Kennedy airport ready to carry out the arrests before the officials boarded their flight, but they were not made, after the state department argued it could trigger a diplomatic crisis.
Guo has filed an application for political asylum in the US, which is pending. But according to the Journal’s account, Trump called for Guo’s deportation in a discussion on policy towards China, describing him as a “criminal” at an Oval Office policy meeting in June, on the basis of a letter from Beijing accusing him of serious crimes…
The Financial Times had an earlier article about why the Chinese government is unhappy with Mr. Guo:
…China’s choreographed politics is not designed for public participation or questioning. But Mr Guo’s determined assault has questioned the reputation of Wang Qishan, the second-most powerful politician, and cast doubt on the integrity of the anti-corruption purge that Beijing claims is a success.
“In a country of 1.4bn, only my voice stands out. My greatest impact has been to allow Chinese to hear a different voice,” he says.
That voice has accused anti-corruption investigators of shaking down people for money or sexually assaulting women in their custody while politicians sire illegitimate children and sock away wealth in trusts and houses overseas.
Mr Guo says he garnered such knowledge through his years as an insider in China’s seamy mix of politics and business, as a property developer who worked in partnership with the country’s dreaded state security forces.
Social media have allowed Mr Guo an unfiltered platform, although Facebook or YouTube have on occasion cut off his feeds. Western journalists have been frustrated with inconsistencies or lack of evidence for some of his claims — a concern shared by few among Mr Guo’s fascinated Chinese audience…
Mr Guo’s chief target has been Mr Wang, Mr Xi’s powerful whip, who has spearheaded the anti-corruption purge on Mr Xi’s behalf. Over the past two decades Mr Wang has served as Wall Street’s primary point of contact in the Chinese hierarchy…
LawFare, in its collaboration with the Brookings Institute, has a timeline:
… Guo—also known as Miles Kwok—has spoken out against corruption in the highest echelons of the Chinese government. In response, China issued an Interpol red notice for his arrest earlier this year. Chinese law enforcement launched 19 separate criminal prosecutions against Guo, including charges of bribery, kidnapping, corruption and rape. In early September, Guo applied for political asylum in the United States.
On August 28, Rep. Ed Royce, the Chairman of the House foreign affairs committee, and Sen. Marco Rubio inquired about whether VOA News was responding to Chinese government pressure when it cut short a live broadcast of an interview with Guo in April. After the VOA abruptly ended the segment, five employees at the VOA’s Mandarin service were placed on administrative leave. A VOA employee said that Beijing threatened the visas of several reporters in China.
A month later, the Washington Free Beacon reported on September 29 that the FBI was investigating a cyber intrusion into Clark Hill, a law firm that had been advising Guo on his political asylum application. According to reports, private investigators have linked the intrusion to China and South Korea. Shortly thereafter, an anonymous Twitter account began posting confidential documents, including Guo’s application documents. One post identified the names of two FBI agents working with Guo. Twitter has since suspended that account. Clark Hill no longer represents Guo…
My question is why Wynn and not Mark Brown or Sheldon Adelson, who Trump speaks with frequently…
— Linnoh (@NohYSLin) October 23, 2017
Wynn is the official finance chair for RNC. They don't even TRY to hide the graft anymore.
— P. S.™ R. I. P. (@Patrixmyth) October 23, 2017
1) this is astoundingly corrupt
2) this is what they mean by “America First” apparently https://t.co/7s3wM3SMsU
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) October 23, 2017
I don’t think Americans are ready, psychologically, for how fast China is gong to overtake us as a world power on the current course.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) October 23, 2017
They're 100% ready to blame Obama. https://t.co/7QwHzulqfw
— Schooley (@Rschooley) October 24, 2017