Suspicious Timing: China Loans Trump-Related Project $500 Mil Days after Trump Orders Sanctions Lifted on Chinese Telecom Giant

According to a report in the National Review, just 72 hours after Donald Trump ordered his government to reverse sanctions on Chinese telecom giant ZTE, the Chinese government announced it would lend half a billion dollars to a Trump-related project in Indonesia.

The Chinese government is extending a $500 million loan to a state-owned construction company to build an Indonesian theme park that will feature a Trump-branded golf course and hotels…

While the $500 million loan will not be directly allocated to any of the Trump-branded features, Beijing’s contribution of half the project’s total operating budget ensures the success of the broader theme-park venture.

Over the weekend, Trump tweeted out the news that he had ordered the Commerce Department to lift severe sanctions on ZTE because, he said, “Too many jobs in China lost.”

Just last month the Trump administration had accused ZTE of espionage and of doing business with Iran and North Korea.

Trump’s reversal even shocked a Republican.

GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida tweeted: “Problem with ZTE isn’t jobs & trade, it’s national security & espionage. We are crazy to allow them to operate in U.S. without tighter restrictions.”

According to The Hill:

ZTE is fighting the ban, which, if it stands, promises to cripple the company’s operations. The company has already halted its production in reaction to the penalties.

The Chinese company has called Commerce’s punishment excessive and unfair, saying that it ignores its continued efforts at sanction compliance and the punishment that it has doled out to employees involved in the sanctions violations. ZTE has also maintained that it operates in accordance with U.S. law in reaction to charges that it works with the Chinese government to spy on Americans.

With his tweet, Trump signaled that his administration is willing to ease the ban if it receives concessions from China in trade talks. Chinese officials are expected to descend on Washington later this week for more negotiations.

On CNN this morning, Rep. Eric Swallwell, a Democrat from California and a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, suggested that the timing of the loan from China was suspicious — and that it fit a pattern.

“I think the reason that he drew himself so closely to the Russians was that the Russians liked him and they invested in him,” Swallwell said. “And he has made decisions that seem to favor them more than what would be our national security interests. With China, they did the same thing. Turkey – he has projects over there. When you ask, why does he like President Erdogan so much? Well there’s a Trump Tower over in Turkey. So it does seem like the simplest explanation is the correct one – it’s money.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *