A billionaire at the center of U.S.-China tensions is waging a mysterious legal battle against two D.C. conservatives over a private espionage deal gone bad. The fight touches on a pair of think tanks, a senator’s widow and the capital’s tight-knit group of China hardliners, adding a new chapter to an international saga that has divided the Trump administration and the president’s external allies.
It began when a firm tied to the billionaire, real estate magnate Guo Wengui [who goes by Miles Kwok in the US], allegedly hired a private intelligence firm to dig up dirt on Chinese nationals — including their bank records, porn habits and any illegitimate children — then sued, saying the firm failed to deliver.
In early 2018, the Guo-linked firm hired Strategic Vision, an obscure company led by Washington-area executive French Wallop, to dig up information on several targets, whom the suit does not name.
In addition to Wallop, J. Michael Waller acted as a representative of Strategic Vision, according to a letter the firm submitted to the court. Waller is a vice president at the far-right Center for Security Policy, a think tank founded by Frank Gaffney, a national security activist known for his conspiratorial hostility to Islam.
Guo was introduced to Strategic Vision by Lianchao Han, a dissident activist and visiting fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute.
As Think Tank Watch previously reported, President Donald Trump's former strategist Stephen Bannon met Guo Wengui after a Hudson Institute event was cancelled last year.