A Chinese official’s corrupting influence on both Hunter Biden and Uganda’s president
Do you hear that sound? It’s the swoosh of air that China’s debt trap makes on its way to slamming shut, this time on Uganda’s international airport nearest its capital city, Kampala.
Uganda’s gradual loss of sovereignty to Beijing has uncomfortable parallels to what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) apparently attempted to do to America through the “charitable” endeavors of Hunter Biden and family.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, 77, has held onto power since 1986. U.S. President Joe Biden, 79, first announced his plans to run for president in 1987. Both presidents have family members groomed by the same man: Ye Jianming, former chairman of CEFC China Energy Company Limited, linked to Chinese military intelligence, reportedly detained by China in 2018 for corruption, and his company went bankrupt in 2020.
According to the Financial Times in 2018, “A senior Chinese energy executive said Mr Xi [Jinping] has appeared eager to distance himself from CEFC as international attention on the company grew. On multiple occasions, CEFC investments had coincided with Mr Xi’s state visits.”
The family members of both Biden and Museveni are implicated in taking millions of dollars in what is apparently the parallel attempted bribery of powerful global politicians, through CEFC-linked charity and business endeavors with their families. The Hunter and Uganda cases illustrate the influence that a few million Chinese dollars can buy in bankrupting a country and eroding its sovereignty, piece by piece.
Museveni’s government is in the news this week for taking hundreds of millions in loans from China that are impoverishing the country to such an extent, and based on loan agreements with such fundamentally sovereign forms of collateral, that China could gain control of the capital city’s international airport in the coming weeks.
Similar losses could happen to the United States, but on a much larger scale. The Obama administration already signed the United States into horrible deals with Iran and China on nuclear weapons proliferation in 2015, and climate change agreements in 2016 that allowed China, the world’s biggest polluter, to continue to increase pollution into 2030, while the United States and European Union had to immediately reduce. These deals were on Biden’s watch and supported by the vice president.
The Uganda Parallel
Uganda’s bad deals are on a smaller scale, but illustrate the same problem. Museveni’s government took a $200 million loan from China in 2015 to pay Chinese companies to expand Entebbe International Airport. The airport is just 20 miles from the capital city.
Within the loan agreement are toxic clauses that surrender financial and operational control of the airport to China, and require any arbitration to be conducted in a Beijing court.
By Anders Corr