President Trump has spent months insisting Joe Biden is in hoc to China. “China is on a massive disinformation campaign because they are desperate to have Sleepy Joe Biden win the presidential race,” Trump tweeted last spring. “Beijing Biden is so weak on China that the intelligence community recently assessed that the Chinese Communist Party favors Biden,” claimed his son, falsely, this summer. More recently, he has seized upon hacked emails purporting to show financial links between Biden and China.
But Biden does not have financial ties to China. We know this because he released his tax returns. Trump has not released his tax returns. But the New York Times has obtained at least some of them. And they found that Trump has a Chinese bank account, and suggest he has collected earnings from that country while serving as president.
The Chinese bank account belongs to Trump’s subsidiary firm, Trump International Hotels Management. While in previous years the firm has reported small sums, in 2017 — Trump’s first year in office — it reported $17.5 million in revenue, a large spike.
The returns obtained by the Times do not show how much of that money came from China. The Trump Organization refuses to say. But the dealings it found suggest a massive conflict of interest between his foreign policy and his wallet. And while Trump postures angrily against Beijing, threatening to “make them pay” for allowing the coronavirus to infect their country and then the world, somehow, nobody believes he has any way to do this.
The objective of Trump’s stream of charges is meant to muddy the waters and confuse the public with a flurry of identical charges and counter-charges. He called his last opponent corrupt, and he calls his current opponent corrupt. The charge that Biden has secret ties to China, and that China is helping him win, is intended to offset the no-longer-secret relationship between Trump and Russia, which is exerting itself on its behalf with the open cooperation of his lawyer. But now we see the accusation serves a second purpose: It obscures Trump’s own undisclosed financial relationship with China.