Tags: 2020 Elections | China | Media Bias | michael bloomberg | emoluments | business | conflict of interest

WashPost: Bloomberg's China Ties Are Conflict of Interest

michael bloomberg speaks in front of a blue backdrop
Democratic presidential candidate, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during a discussion about climate change. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 January 2020 08:45 PM

Forget President Donald Trump's worldwide resorts. Or former Vice President Joe Biden's son's dealings with Ukraine and China.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg's business empire presents much more problematic conflicts of interest, particularly with China, if he were to be elected president, The Washington Post reported.

"If President Trump's unprecedented decision to retain ownership of his global real estate business has tested the limits of America's ethics laws and traditions, sparking lawsuits and allegations of influence by foreign interests, a Bloomberg presidency could present a whole new level of overseas entanglements — with China as a prime example," Post national political investigative reporter Michael Kranish wrote Wednesday.

Bloomberg has ties to China through his business and personal dealings and has already made some eyebrow-raising comments, per the report:

  • Calling Vice President Wang Qishan "the most influential political figure in China and in the world."
  • Saying President Xi Jinping "is not a dictator," adding he "has a constituency to respond to."

"[China] has enormous financial leverage over anyone who does business with them, and so when Mike Bloomberg does interviews and says Xi is not a dictator, I believe Mike Bloomberg is blinded by his wallet," hedge fund manager Kyle Bass told the Post.

"His biggest weakness and biggest vulnerability is on China," Bass added to the Post.

Bloomberg, who has retained an 88% stake in his businesses, has $10 billion in annual revenue, including 1% from China and another 4% from Hong Kong, according to the report.

"It is a problem for a president, a public official, to continue to own business interests in countries that have been designated by the U.S. government as a strategic competitor," Columbia University's Andrew J. Nathan told the Post.

Bloomberg declined to speak to the Post, but his spokesman Jason Schechter said, "As president, Mike will speak up about areas where we have profound differences with China, including on human rights, democratic freedoms and trade."

Schechter added, Bloomberg "will always say and do what he thinks is right for America, regardless of the impact on his business."

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Billionaire Michael Bloomberg's business empire presents much more problematic conflicts of interest, particularly with China, if he were to be elected, The Washington Post reported.
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Wednesday, 01 January 2020 08:45 PM
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