Politics

Biden Denies Being Soft On China, Dodges On Hunter’s Business Deals

Screenshot via CBS News

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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President Joe Biden refused to directly answer a question at his Wednesday press conference about whether or not his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China are impacting the way his administration is addressing the communist dictatorship’s refusal to cooperate with investigations into the origin of COVID-19.

“I’d like to ask you why it is during your three-and-a-half hour virtual summit in November with the Chinese president you didn’t press for transparency, and also whether that has anything to do with your son’s involvement in an investment firm controlled by Chinese state-owned entities,” New York Post’s Steven Nelson asked Biden.

“We did raise the question of transparency” in regards to the origins of COVID-19 during the call, the president responded to Nelson’s question. “The fact is they’re just not being transparent.”

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“I made it clear that China had an obligation to be more forthcoming on exactly what the source of the virus was, and where it came from,” he said, adding that his press staff was “not with me the entire time.”

At the time of the November summit, White House press secretary Jen Psaki refused to answer questions about whether or not Biden pressed Xi to cooperate with a U.S. intelligence review of the virus’ origins.

According to the readout provided by the White House, Biden “talked about the importance of preventing future pandemics and the important role that transparency plays in addressing global health issues.”

Hunter Biden divested his shares of the private equity firm BHR Partners, which is owned by the central Bank of China, his attorney told The New York Times in November. However, his involvement with major Chinese businesses is still a key topic of interest, as Republicans argue that the Biden administration has not been tough enough on China.

The younger Biden’s Chinese business connections were also a key issue during the 2020 presidential campaign. Tony Bobulinski, a business partner to Hunter and James Biden, the president’s brother, alleged that Hunter Biden “aggressively leveraged” his father’s name in an effort to strike several business dealings, including with a Chinese energy company. (RELATED: Tony Bobulinski Says FBI Interviewed Him For 5 Hours About Bidens, Chinese Business Deal)

The Chinese government refused to fully cooperate with a World Health Organization (WHO) team that published a report about the origins of COVID-19, going so far as to prevent scientists from meeting privately with WHO’s investigators. A WHO investigator later admitted that Chinese officials pressured the team not to include any mention of the lab leak theory.

A report issued by the U.S. intelligence community in August failed to come to a conclusion about the origins of the virus. Some investigators believed that COVID-19 emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, while others favored the idea that it jumped naturally from an infected animal into a human.