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Turning now to worries about Armageddon with China, there’s less there
than meets the eye. In fact, the ties between the Trump White House and
the Chinese ruling class might be even more intimate than those with
Russia based on an eye-opening report in today’s NY Times on his
son-in-law’s dealings with the Chinese investors close to the
government’s top officials.
Jared Kushner is not just Trump’s son-in-law. He is slated to be
appointed as one of his chief advisers. Like the Donald, there will be a
token divestment of his business dealings but you can be sure that his
empire will grow and prosper as a result of the dovetailing of interests
with the Trump administration.
The article sets the tone in the opening paragraphs:
On the night of Nov. 16, a group of executives gathered in a private
dining room of the restaurant La Chine at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in
Midtown Manhattan. The table was laden with Chinese delicacies and
$2,100 bottles of Château Lafite Rothschild. At one end sat Wu Xiaohui,
the chairman of the Waldorf’s owner, Anbang Insurance Group, a Chinese
financial behemoth with estimated assets of $285 billion and an
ownership structure shrouded in mystery. Close by sat Jared Kushner, a
major New York real estate investor whose father-in-law, Donald J.
Trump, had just been elected president of the United States.
It was a mutually auspicious moment.
Anbang and Kushner’s real estate firm are co-owners of 666 Fifth Avenue,
a “fading jewel” of the Kushner empire. Just by coincidence, after
dining at the Waldorf Astoria, Wu Xiaohui has expressed a desire to meet
with President Trump. I am sure that Jared will exercise some influence
to make that happen.
Apparently the 35-year old Kushner knows how to get around. Last August
he and his wife Ivanka hobnobbed with some VIPs:
In August, they were spotted with Wendi Deng, an ex-wife of Rupert
Murdoch, on the 453-foot yacht Rising Sun, owned by the entertainment
mogul David Geffen. Several weeks later, they were photographed watching
the United States Open tennis finals with the art collector Dasha
Zhukova, wife of the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, a member of
President Vladimir V. Putin’s inner circle.
Is there any better way to describe the internecine ties between the
ultra-rich than is encapsulated here?
--David Geffen: the gay Hollywood ganze macher who was an early backer
of Bill Clinton but who had a falling out with him over his decision not
to pardon Leonard Peltier. Geffen was also an early backer of Obama for
president and raised $1.3 million for Obama in a Beverly Hills fundraiser.
--Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife, who divorced her when he learned that she
was having an affair with Tony Blair. She is also rumored to have had
one with Putin. So incestuous.
--Abramovich is the 13th richest man in Russia and said to enjoy the
status of a father-like figure to Vladimir Putin. Sort of like being a
godfather to another Vlad—Vlad the impaler.
These sorts of connections have paid off for Jared. Russian billionaire
tech investor Yuri Milner and Chinese billionaire founder of Alibaba
Jack Ma are investors in Cadre, a real estate investment company he and
his brother started with a friend. Guess what. Goldman Sachs has
invested as well.
But the bridge being built to Anbang will lead to the pot of gold at the
end of the rainbow. The Times has reported that Anbang is “owned by a
few dozen companies, which in turn are owned by a number of shell
companies that are controlled by roughly 100 people, many of whom have
ties to a county in China that is the home of Mr. Wu, whose own power
stems in part from marriage.” Like Jared Kushner, Wu knew how to marry
well, in his case to Zhuo Ran, a granddaughter of Deng Xiaoping, the CCP
leader who carried out the capitalist turn.
Meanwhile, notwithstanding Trump’s faux saber-rattling that has the
sectarian nut jobs at WSWS.org shitting in their pants, the
president-elect is not likely to launch H-Bombs at people he has these
kinds of connections with. The president-elect has his own financial
entanglements with China: Trump “owns a 30 percent stake in a
partnership that owes roughly $950 million to a group of lenders that
includes the Bank of China, and one of his biggest tenants at Trump
Tower is another state-owned bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of
A week after Jared Kushner met with Mr. Wu, Donald Trump has lunch with
him at the Waldorf. It must have been a pleasant and mutually rewarding
affair since Wu was heard saying as left in perfect English: “I love you
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