Hunter Met With Chinese State Oil Exec To Talk 'Highly Strategic' African Land Grab

Biden knew the company had ties to countries under US sanctions, emails show

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December 8, 2021

Hunter Biden tried to help a Chinese oil executive purchase an African oil field as part of China's drive to buy up natural resources, even after he was warned the company had ties to countries under U.S. sanctions.

Biden and his business partner in 2011 met at least twice with Ge Aiji, an executive with China National Petroleum Corporation, according to emails from Biden's abandoned laptop. Ge sought the Biden consortium's help on brokering a deal to buy an equity stake in the Jubilee oil field off the coast of Ghana. China at the time was in the process of diversifying its oil sources and worked with Iran, Sudan, Libya, and other sanctioned countries.

Ge, who was director of new ventures at China National Petroleum Corporation, sent a letter to Biden and his partner Devon Archer on April 18, 2011, saying the Jubilee field represented a "highly strategic opportunity" for the state-owned corporation because of its quality and size. Biden and Archer days later met with Ge in Beijing, according to previously unreported emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

While the Jubilee stake was ultimately not sold to China National Petroleum Corporation, the emails provide another example of Biden's willingness to forge business deals that stood to benefit the Chinese government. China over the past decade has snatched up oil, minerals, and precious metals around the globe, stoking concerns that the Communist regime is seeking a strategic advantage over the United States. China's foray in Africa has been of more recent concern amid reports that it is seeking to build a military base in Equatorial Guinea, which is near the Jubilee field.

Biden and Archer formed a joint venture, BHR Partners, that in 2016 brokered the sale of a Congolese cobalt mine to the state-owned China Molybdenum Co. The deal gave China control over one of the world's largest supplies of the precious metal, which is used to make batteries for electric cars. BHR also brokered the sale of Michigan-based Henniges Automotive to a Chinese defense contractor that has since been blacklisted by the U.S. government. The deal required approval from the Obama administration because it involved technology that could be used for military purposes.

Biden's meeting with China National Petroleum Corporation is not his first effort to help a Chinese company that seeks African oil. CEFC China Energy, a conglomerate linked to the Communist Party, in 2017 paid Biden more than $6 million to find energy investments for the company. CEFC paid Biden another $1 million to represent executive Patrick Ho after he was indicted for offering bribes to officials from Chad and Uganda in exchange for oil drilling rights. Biden at the time was working on a deal for CEFC to buy a liquified natural gas company in the Gulf of Mexico. That deal fell apart after CEFC chairman Ye Jianming disappeared following his arrest on fraud charges in China in 2018.

Gabriel Zinny, a representative of the Democratic consulting firm Blue Star Strategies, first contacted Biden and Archer in early 2011 about China National Petroleum Corporation's interest in Ghana's Jubilee oil field, the emails show. Zinny represented Argentine businessman José Luis Manzano, who was looking to partner with China National Petroleum Corporation to bid on Jubilee. Manzano has partnered on other ventures with Hunter Biden's uncle, Jim Biden.

Mike Muldoon, an employee at Biden and Archer's firm Rosemont Seneca, told the pair in early 2011 about China National Petroleum Corporation's history of working in Sudan, Iran, Libya, Myanmar, and Venezuela, all which were under U.S. sanctions.

"Things we need to keep on the radar as we move forward," Muldoon wrote in the Jan. 12, 2011, email.

The warning flag did not deter Biden and his partners, who met with Ge Aiji at least twice in the following months.

Biden and Archer were forwarded a letter from Ge prior to their second meeting in Beijing. Ge—to whom the Biden consortium referred in emails as "Madame Ge"—said the corporation wanted Biden and Archer's help with conducting due diligence on Kosmos Energy, the Dallas-based exploration company that discovered Jubilee in 2007.

Emails suggest Biden and Archer met Ge on March 18, 2011, in Beijing and on April 21, 2011.

"We had a really nice dinner," Archer wrote following his and Biden's Beijing meeting with Ge. He said that Ge asked him "to keep bringing her projects" and that he planned to do so.

An attorney for Biden and the China National Petroleum Corporation did not respond to requests for comment.