( A Call for Investigation Into HNA Group’s Activities in the US and L)接上页博讯www.peacehall.com
Consistent with Guan Jun’s murky identity, only very high level political privileges can explain why HNA was able to grow at a parabolic rate, fueled by bank lending and easy access to hard currency, despite China’s tight capital controls. In addition to alleged connections of Guan Jun with Wang Qishan, HNA’s chairman of the board, Chen Feng was a former PLA officer, worked under Wang Qishan for a project of the now defunct China Agriculture Trust Investment Co., and has “been a delegate to three national congresses of the Chinese Communist Party since 2002, spanning the presidencies of Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping”, as reported by Nikkei. HNA’s business took off when Wang Qishan became Hainan’s Party chief in 2002. In Chen Feng’s most recent public appearance, he accompanied Xi Jinping on Xi’s state visit to the U.K in 2015, where he was received by then-Prime Minister David Cameron on the same stage with Xi.
HNA bypassed scrutiny while acting as a state sovereign investment company. On the other hand, given the opacity of the ownership and its special connections, we are concerned that it could very well be controlled by individuals and families connected with the top of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), operating through a shadowy Guan Jun. Cihang will provide a shelter for CCP leaders’ families to retain their wealth, which they could only have obtained through corruption. Cihang may thus become a beachhead for the CCP to influence the U.S. government and public.
If this is the case, such an entity would be liable for examination per the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, passed in December 2016 (NDAA 2017, section 1261-1265) as the law aims at sanctioning officials or their senior associates who have committed “expropriation of private or public assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, bribery, or the facilitation or transfer of the proceeds of corruption to foreign jurisdictions.”
Therefore, we ask the U.S. Congress and the administration to support the following:
Conduct an independent investigation into all transactions and assets held by HNA and its U.S. -based business affiliates in connection with alleged corruption by CCP leaders;
Conduct an independent investigation of the source of funding for HNA and Cihang’s U.S. operations in connection with alleged corruption by CCP leaders;
Hold an open hearing through the U.S. Congress regarding the above investigations;
Suspend approval of HNA’s application for the tax-exempt status until the completion of the above investigations;
Suspend approval of all HNA’s business mergers and acquisitions in the United States until the completion of the above investigations;
Audit HNA’s U.S.-based companies, NY Cihang Foundation, and Guan Jun’s donation and suspend their operations in the U.S. until the completion of the above investigations.
China Human Rights Accountability Center was formed in January 2017 by a group of mostly U. S.-based Chinese activists to promote and assist the implementation of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
Paul Mooney, Shanshan Zou, Sandra Fu contributed to this letter.
Financial Times: HNA chief shrugs off regulatory and ownership concerns