He struck billions of dollars’ worth of deals in Russia, Eastern Europe and Africa. He sought business with war-torn places like Chad and with international pariahs like North Korea.
Ye Jianming, a fast-rising Chinese oil tycoon, ventured to places only the most politically connected Chinese companies dared to go. But what he wanted was access to the corridors of power in Washington — and he set out to get it.
Soon, he was meeting with the family of Joseph R. Biden Jr., who was then the vice president. He dined with R. James Woolsey Jr., a former Central Intelligence Agency director and later a senior adviser to President Trump. He bestowed lavish funding on universities and think tanks with direct access to top Washington leaders, looking for the benefits access can bring. He asked one former American security official: If he bought oil fields in Syria, could the former official persuade the American military not to bomb them?
To build influence, Mr. Ye turned to Vuk Jeremic, a Serbian diplomat and former president of the United Nations General Assembly whom CEFC hired as a consultant, and Mr. Ho, a former Hong Kong official. CEFC also donated at least $350,000 to the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, a politically connected think tank, according to court testimony. The think tank counts Robert C. McFarlane, the Reagan-era national security adviser, as its president and Mr. Woolsey, a Clinton-era C.I.A. director, as its co-chairman.
A link to the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) can be found here. IAGS projects include the United States Energy Security Council, the Global Forum on Energy Security, the Technology and Rare Earth Metals Center (TREM), the Set America Free Coalition, and the Mobility Choice Coalition.
In related news, it was recently reported that Huawei paid the Brookings Institution to write favorable reports.
A group of China specialists recently released a report saying that China is trying to influence US think tanks.