Fifty Four Million Dollars in Chinese gifts donated to Biden Center
A government watchdog is demanding the US attorney probing Hunter Biden in Delaware investigate tens of millions in anonymous donations from China to the University of Pennsylvania, where an academic center is named for his father, President Biden. The Ivy League college raked in a total of $54.6 million from 2014 through June 2019 in donations from China, including $23.1 million in anonymous gifts starting in 2016, according to public records.
Most of the anonymous donations came after the university announced in February 2017 that it would create the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. Joe Biden, whose term as vice president had just ended, was to lead the center and was also named a professor at the university. The center, which is located in Washington, DC, opened its doors in February 2018. Antony Blinken, whom Biden named as secretary of state, briefly served as its managing director. The Ivy League university received $15.8 million in anonymous Chinese gifts that year, including one eye-popping $14.5 million donation in May 2018, records show. The flurry of donations may be related to first son Hunter Biden’s business interests in China, the National Legal and Policy Center, a Virginia-based watchdog, alleged in complaints sent in May and October 2020 to the Departments of Education and Justice.
Last week, the group asked US Attorney David Weiss to step in and investigate the Chinese largesse to the school as part of his federal tax probe of Hunter Biden. “We’ve asked … Weiss to pursue the larger network of individuals and institutions who benefited from millions doled out by foreign interests connected to Hunter Biden’s work in China and Ukraine,” said Tom Anderson, director of the NLPC’s Government Integrity Project. In its 12-page complaint, the watchdog cited a 2017 text found on Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop that CEFC China Energy Co, one of the firms that Hunter Biden had a financial stake in, wanted to lobby politicians in the US but did not want to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, as required for all foreign lobbyists.
“We don’t want to have to register as foreign agents under the FCPA [sic] which … is much more expansive than people who should know choose not to know,” reads the May 1, 2017, text sent from Hunter Biden to his former business partner Tony Bobulinski.
A University of Pennsylvania spokesman denied any anonymous Chinese money had gone to the center. “The Penn Biden Center has never solicited or received any gifts from any Chinese or other foreign entity. In fact, the University has never solicited any gifts for the Center,” Stephen MacCarthy said. Although the center’s mission statement says it does not accept contributions,
MacCarthy contended that it had received a combined $1,100 in three unsolicited gifts from two donors since 2017, but said both donors are Americans. He would not disclose the identity of the donors or say how the massive, anonymous Chinese funds were used at the school. After Joe Biden was elected president in 2020, the center said it would operate “completely independent of the Biden administration.” Other Ivy League colleges have raked in Chinese money, including Harvard, which got $75 million during the 2014-2019 period, and Yale, which received $43.5 million, records show. The Education Department opened investigations in 2020 into whether Harvard and Yale were meeting reporting requirements for foreign cash