FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Kushner and China: Where Money Talks

Add Jared Kushner’s all-too-cozy relationship with the Chinese to the long list of Trump administration corruption, conflicts of interest, and unholy foreign entanglements. I have reported on Kushner’s extensive real estate holdings, his and Ivanka Trump’s wealth, their significant bank debts, and his by now well known efforts to cultivate ties with the Russians.

All these activities, including his lying about Russian contacts, should, I have argued, keep him from obtaining a national security clearance and bar him from involvement in official diplomacy.

Now, Adam Entous and Evan Osnos, writing in the January 29 issue of The New Yorker, point to Kushner as the likely target of an investigation into “a member of the president’s family” whom Beijing may be seeking to influence, doubtless with the lure of money-making opportunities. Kushner has had frequent contacts with China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, both during and since the transition. We don’t know anything about the substance of their discussions.

But the FBI counterintelligence division has warned Kushner that he is a leading Chinese intelligence target and that another Chinese national, Wendy Deng Murdoch, the ex-wife of Rupert Murdoch and a friend of Kushner and Ivanka Trump, might be a Chinese spy. Yet Kushner remains a major figure on Trump’s foreign policy team, and while he has yet to receive a top-secret clearance, he continues to have access to the same top-secret reports available daily to the president himself.

Kushner and Ivanka Trump have multiple investments with Chinese partners—he in real estate, she in women’s apparel. Like Donald Trump, the Kushners make no distinction between public service and private gain; the former is used to support the latter. Reportedly, Kushner sees no reason to curtail his China activities because he cannot imagine being used by Chinese officials and business people for purposes antithetical to US national security interests.

No evidence has been brought forward to show that Beijing has tried to manipulate Kushner’s commercial aims. Indeed, he supposedly stood against Steve Bannon’s hardline approach to China and believes, like Henry Kissinger (who introduced Kushner to Chinese diplomats) that regular high-level contacts with Beijing can ease tensions.

Done transparently and professionally, such engagement is fine. But Jared Kushner is a foreign-policy novice who seems, like his father-in-law, uninterested in expert opinion and all too interested in making lucrative deals. The way he has conducted his “peace plan” for the Middle East is indicative of both his amateurism and his greed, providing good reason for terminating his role as a representative of the United States.

More articles by:

Mel Gurtov is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University, Editor-in-Chief of Asian Perspective, an international affairs quarterly and blogs at In the Human Interest.

September 19, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid
Lawrence Davidson
Political Fragmentation on the Homefront
George Ochenski
How’s That “Chinese Hoax” Treating You, Mr. President?
Cesar Chelala
The Afghan Morass
Chris Wright
Three Cheers for the Decline of the Middle Class
Howard Lisnoff
The Beat Goes On Against Protest in Saudi Arabia
Nomi Prins 
The Donald in Wonderland: Down the Financial Rabbit Hole With Trump
Jack Rasmus
On the 10th Anniversary of Lehman Brothers 2008: Can ‘IT’ Happen Again?
Richard Schuberth
Make Them Suffer Too
Geoff Beckman
Kavanaugh in Extremis
Jonathan Engel
Rather Than Mining in Irreplaceable Wilderness, Why Can’t We Mine Landfills?
Binoy Kampmark
Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under
Michael McCaffrey
A Curious Case of Mysterious Attacks, Microwave Weapons and Media Manipulation
Elliot Sperber
Eating the Constitution
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail