In September 1998, the Commerce Department was forced by legal action to release documents from the late Secretary Ron Brown. The Clinton White House was illegally withholding the documents from public release. The newly released materials include the detailed biographies of the entire Chinese communist leadership. The detailed dossiers were given to DNC donors Loral CEO Bernard Schwartz and investment millionaire Sanford Robertson by the Clinton White House just prior to their August 1994 trade trip to China with Brown.
Curiously, the briefing package also included the detailed bio of a civilian who is not even a Chinese citizen — Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing. According to Forbes, Li Ka-Shing is the sixth richest man in the world. Li is not a red Chinese government official nor is Li a member of any military service. Yet, a detailed dossier on Li Ka-Shing was included along with Chinese President Jiang Zemin, foreign minister Li Peng and other top communist officials.
Li Ka-Shing owns the huge shipping firm Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. and the giant far east investment firm Cheong Kong Holdings. According to the 1994 Clinton-supplied dossier — Li has “significant economic and political ties to China” including investments in a “power station, a highway construction project and a large contribution to Shantou University.” Li Ka-Shing also had legal troubles and a known criminal record. Li, according to the White House documents, was “found guilty of insider trading after a widely publicized trial in 1984; he was not punished by the courts.”
According to the White House, Li was also a “member of the boards of directors of the China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC).” CITIC is the bank of the People’s Liberation Army, providing financing for Chinese Army weapons sales and western technology purchases. CITIC serves as the chief investment arm of China’s central government and holds ministry status on the Chinese State Council.
Ron Brown helped CITIC more than once. Brown had the CITIC American representative, Bai Xingji, serve as a panelist/speaker at the 1995 Big Emerging Markets Conference (BEM). Brown arranged for the Chairman of CITIC, Wang Jun, to meet President Clinton. Wang Jun was not only chairman of CITIC but also President of Poly Technologies, a firm known to be an outlet for Chinese weapon exports. Wang Jun is an international arms dealer known in every major capital of the world. Wang Jun met with Ron Brown and DNC fundraiser Charlie “Ya-Lin” Trie prior to meeting Bill Clinton and making a large contribution at a White House coffee/fundraiser.
CITIC also owns a controlling interest in the Hong Kong based Asia Satellite Telecom Co. Ltd., or AsiaSat. AsiaSat, a company founded in 1988, operates several communications satellites in the far east bought from U.S. manufacturers such as Hughes. Asiasat also signed an exclusive deal with billionaire Li Ka-Shing to carry his STAR television service — 54 channels of premium cable/satellite television including MTV, re-runs of American sitcoms dubbed in various languages, and pay-per-view X rated movies.
Li also scored with Indonesian Dictator Suharto, arranging for the Palapa satellite purchased from U.S. space giant Hughes to also carry STAR TV. After helping kick off AsiaSat with big paying customers seeking far east satellite TV and cable service, Ka-Shing later sold all of his STAR TV holdings in two huge chunks to news magnate Rupert Murdoch for nearly a billion dollars.
AsiaSat and CITIC are also front companies for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). In addition to the direct TV broadcasts of STAR, AsiaSat satellites also regularly carry communications traffic for Chinese military units and Chinese military owned companies. Thus, with Ka-Shing’s help the profits from X-rated films and American pay-TV channels help fund Chinese Army satellite communications.
Interestingly, one area the Chinese communists decided not to crack down on after the 1989 Tianamen square uprising was satellite TV dish ownership. Instead of going against the tide of global communications, China selected both a profitable and pro-Marxist approach. AsiaSat HK also has an exclusive deal to carry the official TV news, sports and propaganda outlets for the PRC. By allowing private dish ownership, Beijing can spread propaganda to the masses while concealing military satellite operations among the thousands of commercial dishes.
Furthermore, Beijing’s military front companies also manufacture satellite dishes and receivers. Chinese Generals earn a sweet profit from commercial dish exports and sales that provide financial support to the hidden military operations in Chinese commercial satellites.
Red satellite TV is not the only deal that Li Ka-Shing managed to score with the assistance of the Chinese armed forces and Bill Clinton. One deal led by Li Ka-Shing nearly added four new ships to the Chinese Navy.
In 1982, the giant civilian container ship Atlantic Conveyor joined the U.K. Royal Navy task force off the Falkland Islands. The civilian container ship was quickly modified for war and it brought Harrier jump jets and helicopters to reinforce the already badly under-powered Royal Navy. During the course of the south Atlantic combat, the Atlantic Conveyor was struck and sunk by an Argentine EXOCET cruise missile, killing the entire civilian crew.
In January 1997, Bill Clinton authorized four container ships similar to the Atlantic Conveyor for export directly to China. The four container ships were to be constructed for the China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) and Li Ka-Shing’s Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. by the Alabama Shipyards, Mobile Ala.
The four ships were to be built using $138 million in private loans backed by the U.S. government. The loans have very favorable terms including low interest rates and a 25-year re-payment plan, longer than the expected life of the ships. The loans were also U.S. backed, so even if the ship and owner disappeared, the Federal Government would still repay the lenders.
COSCO is better known for the recent unsuccessful attempt to purchase the former Long Beach Naval station. COSCO is also part of the Chinese Navy and wholly owned by the Chinese government. COSCO is the flag carrier for China, hauling official cargoes exported by the Chinese government including weapons. Recent U.S. Navy photos show COSCO cargo ships carrying missile armed patrol boats bound for Iran and tons of depleted uranium tank shells for Pakistan. COSCO ships have carried jet fighters, missile parts and tanks for export to Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya.
The COSCO container ship deal fell apart in November 1997 due to “commercial” reasons blamed on the Asian financial crisis. Nevertheless, the Chinese Navy deal to acquire these ships actually started in 1993 when Bill Clinton and the Democrats were starved for donation cash.
The Maritime shipyard-funding program, managed by the Department of Transportation (DOT), was created to finance American built ships sold to U.S. flag companies. In 1993, the Democratic controlled Congress joined President Clinton and altered the program to allow U.S. financing on ships built for export. Li Ka-Shing, COSCO, Ron Brown and Bill Clinton worked to provide the four container ships, including the low cost, 100% U.S. government backed loans, to Hutchison Whampoa and COSCO.
Li Ka-Shing is not the only one to take advantage of the Clinton sponsored changes in the Maritime finance program. For example, two power barges for export to Indonesia made by Enron Corp., a large contributor to Bill Clinton, were also built through the DOT Maritime-funding program, and backed by $50 million in taxpayer financing. Another questionable ship deal included over $60 million to build a paddlewheel steam boat/casino. Still another deal landed millions in taxpayer supported loans for two floating combination hotel/casino barges.
Li’s role in Chinese maritime power is clearly outlined by the kind of special deals he has struck with the communist government. It is known that Li Ka-shing played a significant role in the attempted purchase of the Long Beach Naval station for COSCO. Li Ka-Shing also owns most of the dock space in Hong Kong. Li Ka-Shing and COSCO co-own the ports at both ends of the Panama Canal (Atlantic and Pacific). In fact, Li has over a billion dollars invested in China and an exclusive deal that includes first right of refusal over all PRC ports south of the Yangtze river.
According to documents obtained from the Commerce Department using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) the 1994 August far east trade trip schedule included Mr. Li on the midnight cruise aboard the “Love Boat” (Pacific Princess) from Hong Kong with Brown and a host of other high level guests. In Hong Kong Li Ka-Shing met with Brown and the entire trade mission of American executives, including Loral CEO Schwartz and DNC donor Sanford Robertson.
The Clinton supplied documents clearly provide the answer to why civilian/billionaire Ka-Shing was included with communist leader President Jiang Zemin. Li Ka-Shing is really part of the Chinese government. Li Ka-Shing’s partnership with the red Chinese military has been a very profitable story of symbiotic business deals with great financial benefit to both Li and the communists. Without Li Ka-Shing the Chinese army would have to find some other billionaire front man to run their western business dealings.
Li Ka-Shing willingly provided his services for a piece of the action. Li Ka-Shing cashed in on his co-existence with the Chinese military to the tune of billions in his pocket. Li Ka-Shing bought his way into the Commerce trade missions of 1994 through Ron Brown and the DNC. There is no question that Li Ka-Shing’s contributions to Chinese Naval power projection should earn him the title “Commodore” in the People’s Liberation Navy — if not a more official rank of red Admiral.
SOURCE DOCUMENT INDEX:
Li Ka-Shing Source Document index -