Text messages obtained by the FBI reveal that CEFC China Energy, a prominent Chinese energy conglomerate, began building ties with Hunter Biden as early as 2015—when Joe Biden was still vice president—a move that analysts interpret as leveraging the Biden family’s name to push forward their U.S. energy asset acquisition plans.
James Gilliar, Hunter Biden’s business associate, indicated in a 2015 message to future partner Tony Bobulinski that the collaboration would be mutually beneficial, noting its potential positive impact on CEFC’s profile in U.S. cities such as New York and Los Angeles. He also mentioned that Chinese partnerships were preferable over Arab ones in the current political climate.
Furthermore, Devon Archer, another business partner of Hunter Biden, provided testimony indicating that both Hunter and Joe Biden were seen as a packaged “brand” by foreign clients aiming to increase their influence.
Notably, Hunter Biden failed to attend a planned dinner in Washington, D.C., in December 2015 with CEFC’s Ye Jianming. Nevertheless, records from Hunter Biden’s laptop, seized by the FBI in December 2019, confirm a subsequent meeting with Jianjun Zang, CEFC’s Executive Director.
Despite the buzz and the millions amassed in consultation fees, no energy deals with CEFC in the United States were finalized. Yet, the CEFC played a pivotal role in China’s global energy asset acquisition strategy, and Ye Jianming was openly associated with the Chinese communist government and military.
The partnership eventually unraveled due to legal issues, with key CEFC personnel facing legal actions in China and the United States While Hunter Biden wasn’t directly implicated, he received substantial payments to assist in legal defenses.
Messages from 2015–17 between Hunter Biden and associates shed light on CEFC’s intentions: to gain both influence and a reputable name, easing their entry into the U.S. energy market. Additional communications hint at the Biden family name being utilized in other potential international deals.
Bobulinski has praised those willing to testify about alleged Biden family corruption, emphasizing that Joe Biden was indeed the “big guy” CEFC sought to woo for China’s benefit.
Financial gains for the Biden family from the CEFC association are still under scrutiny. Estimates range up to $7 million from Chinese accounts. Recent court filings in Delaware have revealed Hunter Biden’s considerable earnings from various Chinese ventures.
In a 2020 presidential debate, Joe Biden denied any ethical misconduct relating to his son’s business with China, suggesting it was then-President Donald Trump who profited from China.