Thursday, September 22, 2016

Billionaire Chinese Donor to US Think Tanks Caught in Scandal

A billionaire Chinese donor to US think tanks has been expelled from China's top legislature after being caught up in a widespread cash-for-votes scheme, according to the Washington Post.

The donor, Wang Wenliang, Chairman of privately-held construction firm Rilin Enterprises, has given to think tanks such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), as well as various schools such as Harvard University and New York University.

In 2014, CSIS created the Brzezinski Institute of Geostrategy, which was funded by Mr. Wenliang's company.  Here is more from a CSIS press release:
The launching grant for the Institute came from Rilin Enterprises, Ltd., a global construction and logistics firm based in Hong Kong with offices in New York, Beijing, and Dandong, China. Mr. Wenliang Wang serves as chairman of Rilin Enterprises. Mr. Mark Fung, who serves on the Institute’s Advisory Board, is the firm’s general counsel and in the 1990s was Dr. Brzezinski’s student and then seminar assistant at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Here is a New Republic piece written by John Judis in 2014 questioning Mr. Wang's donation to CSIS.

In recent years, there has been an explosion of billionaires (both foreign and domestic) giving donations to US think tanks.