Dianne’s China

More like the other way around

by baldilocks

We Californians who pay attention knew much of this about Feinstein. You all should know it, too. Remember the report about how one of her long-time aides turned out to be a ChiCom operative? Small potatoes.

The links between leading American politicians and companies and the Chinese leadership are now likely to come under increased scrutiny.

First on that list of those deserving of close attention is the [Democratic Party] senior U.S. senator from California, Dianne Feinstein—a longtime member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence—who briefly made headlines a few years ago when reports surfaced that she had been forced to fire a longtime aide after learning from the FBI that he had been recruited on behalf of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

No one represents the marriage of American policy toward China and doing business with the PRC better than Feinstein. Her promotion of trade with China to advance the interests of her constituents turned into apologetics on behalf of the Communist Party, as it aided her political ascent and augmented her husband’s portfolio. In October, USA Today listed Feinstein as the sixth-richest member of Congress, with a net worth of $58.5 million—a sum that vastly understates her actual wealth. Richard Blum, her husband, is himself worth at least another $1 billion.

Sixth.

In 1994, Blum’s company, Blum Capital, had entered a joint venture to found Newbridge Capital, specializing in emerging markets, including Asia. Blum said in 1997 that less than 2% of the approximately $1.5 billion that his firm managed was committed to China. He held a $300 million stake in Northwest Airlines when it operated the only nonstop service from the United States to cities in China. In 2002, Newbridge was negotiating to acquire 20% of Shenzhen Development Bank. After some rough seas, it paid $145 million for an 18% share two years later, marking the first time a Chinese bank came under control of a foreign entity.

Feinstein. You’d be smiling, too.

Feinstein says that Blum’s business in China had no effect on her foreign policy or trade positions regarding the country. “We have built a firewall,” she said of her relationship with her husband. “That firewall has stood us in good stead.”

Yeah, sure, Senator.

It’s very long and you should read it all – if only to get a handle on how long and how tightly the China octopus has been squeezing us, not to mention on how lucrative it is to be a professional American politician.

Read all the links, too. I know you have the time.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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