Chinese Energy Firm That Paid Hunter Millions Also Funded NGO That Advised UN On Climate Change, Archives Show

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  • CEFC China Energy Co. (CEFC), the Chinese energy firm that directed millions of dollars to Hunter Biden and his associates, also fully funded a non-governmental organization (NGO) that worked with the United Nations UN on issues pertaining to climate change and that its de facto leader used to engage in international corruption.
  • The CEFC NGO sponsored two UN programs that awarded funds annually to selected recipients whose work focused on climate change and “sustainable development,” according to archives of the CEFC NGO’s website.
  • Patrick Ho, the nominal leader of CEFC’s NGO, was convicted in 2018 for bribing a high-ranking Ugandan UN official for preferential treatment of CEFC in future Ugandan business dealings, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York. 

CEFC China Energy Co. (CEFC), the Chinese energy firm that paid Hunter Biden and his associates millions of dollars, fully funded a non-governmental organization (NGO) under the CEFC brand to engage with the United Nations on climate change, web archives show.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-linked firm and its affiliates paid Hunter Biden-tied shell companies and associates more than $8 million in a web of complex financial maneuvers, according to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee. Much of that money changed hands after CEFC’s NGO arm, called the China Energy Fund Committee, established the “Powering the Future We Want” grant program with the United Nations and an annual scholarship prize alongside the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), according to an archived CEFC NGO webpage. (RELATED: Burisma Was Told To Remove Picture Of Joe Biden And Devon Archer From Its Website, Emails Show)

CEFC’s business arm fully funded the CEFC NGO as “a high-end global think-tank to expand international cooperation” on energy, according to archived webpages, and the NGO received “special consultative status” with the UN in 2011, according to the State Department. Beyond these relationships with the UN, CEFC’s NGO also utilized some of its UN contacts to perpetuate international bribery schemes, one of which led to the eventual conviction of the NGO’s nominal leader, Patrick Ho, in 2018, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York.

The scheme centered around Ho using the CEFC NGO to pay foreign officials associated with the UN in exchange for unfair advantages in future deals for CEFC’s business arm, disguising the payments as charitable donations or campaign contributions, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York.

The “Powering the Future We Want” initiative offered $1 million starting in 2014 as “an annual grant to recognize exemplary individuals and organizations from around the world for their work in promoting global energy sustainability,” according to the NGO’s archived website and a UN webpage. A separate “strategic partnership” with the UN IPCC supported climate change-related research and the careers of young climate scientists from developing countries with a scholarship program, according to the CEFC NGO’s archived website.

Then-Vice President Joe Biden waves as he walks out of Air Force Two with his granddaughter and son Hunter Biden on December 4, 2013 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Ng Han Guan-Pool/Getty Images)

CEFC’s NGO also participated in numerous panels attended by high-level UN officials, including a July 2014 meeting on “initiatives by China in advancing sustainable cities,” an April 2015 meeting regarding “culture as an enabler of the sustainable development agenda” and another panel attended by then-Secretary of State John Kerry and Bill Gates, according to an archived CEFC NGO webpage.

CEFC “came out of nowhere,” quickly growing to become one of the world’s largest and most powerful energy companies, Laban Yu, former head of China research for Jefferies Group, told CNN in 2018. The firm touted itself as a leading force in the Chinese Communist Party’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is a long-term vision to construct an enormous network of infrastructure projects around the world with China at the center, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Critics have alleged that the BRI is actually a scheme to snare developing nations in debt traps and advance China’s geopolitical power, according to a 2020 press release by the House Financial Services Committee. CEFC’s NGO appears to have been intimately involved with the CCP’s wider effort to cultivate influence across the world, a strategy which the CCP pursues in order “to wield power within other countries’ societies and politics” to its advantage, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ho was convicted in November 2018 on federal charges for pursuing schemes to bribe high-level African politicians to secure preferential treatment for CEFC in future deals, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York. Ho successfully bribed a Ugandan politician serving as the president of the UN General Assembly in New York City to provide CEFC’s business arm preferential treatment in its future Ugandan affairs, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York.

In September 2017, months before his December indictment on the corruption charges, Ho wired a Hunter Biden shell company $1 million for “legal fees,” also allegedly placing a phone call to James Biden, Joe Biden’s brother. When Ho went to trial, prosecutors also alleged that he had tried to facilitate the sale of Chinese weapons to countries like Libya and South Sudan, and that he sought to help Iran access a sanctioned bank account, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In the Uganda scheme, Ho was working in the interests of CEFC’s business arm and its chief executive, Ye Jianming, a wealthy Chinese businessman believed to have extensive ties to the CCP’s People’s Liberation Army, whom Hunter Biden described as a “business partner” in 2020 court filings. Hunter Biden and Jianming began communicating about a prospective business partnership in December of 2015, according to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee’s timeline, sometime after Ho had initiated the Ugandan bribery scheme in 2014. (RELATED: Devon Archer Says Kazakh Oligarch Wired Hunter Money For A Luxury Car Around The Time He Met Joe Biden In DC)

While Ho was carrying out shady agreements with UN contacts before he caught the attention of U.S. investigators, CEFC’s business arm and Jianming had started to communicate with Hunter Biden about a business partnership, according to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee’s timeline.

Hunter Biden appears to have requested in September 2017 that his assistant make new keys for an office to give to his father, President Joe Biden, and Gongwen Dong, whom Hunter described as an “emissary” for Jianming, an email from Hunter’s now-infamous laptop shows. Weeks before Hunter sent that email to his assistant, he allegedly told Dong via WhatsApp that “the Biden’s (sic) are the best I know at doing exactly what the Chairman wants from this partnership,” adding in the message that he did not want to “quibble over peanuts.”

That particular message emphasized Hunter’s demand to receive $10 million from the CEFC affiliates in order to further a “joint venture” between the two parties. Hunter was upset at a proposal from the CEFC businessmen, saying in the message that “if the Chairman doesn’t value this relationship is (sic) being worth at least 5M, then I’m just baffled.”

CEFC officials allegedly met with Joe Biden in May 2017, according to a transcript of former Hunter Biden business partner Rob Walker’s interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Internal Revenue Service whistleblower Gary Shapley disclosed the transcript in his May testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, and Shapley confirmed that Joe Biden met with CEFC representatives when he testified to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee in July.

Jianming was detained in China by CCP authorities in March 2018 on suspicion of economic and financial crimes, just a few months after American law enforcement arrested Ho for his involvement in the Uganda scheme, according to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee. His whereabouts remain unknown.

Joe Biden has repeatedly denied that he was ever directly involved in his son’s business dealings, which also included associates from Ukraine, Romania and Kazakhstan. However, James Gilliar, an American business associate of Hunter Biden, wrote in an email pertaining to a prospective deal with CEFC that their end of the arrangement would feature “10 held by H for the big guy.”

Tony Bobulinski, a former Hunter Biden business partner, has said publicly that “the big guy” referenced in this communication and others was Joe Biden, whose political influence allegedly facilitated Hunter’s ability to secure lucrative energy business deals with foreign interests despite his lack of relevant experience in the sector.

Representatives for the UN did not respond to requests for comment. Both branches of CEFC could not be reached for comment.

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