Joe Biden’s “Asia Czar” did not report that he had received tens of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from a financial firm with close connections to the Chinese communist government.
The National Security Council’s head of Indo-Pacific affairs is Kurt Campbell. He provided a filing to the Office of Government Ethics released last week showing that he was paid $50,000 for two speaking engagements by Blackstone in 2020. Upon beginning work for the federal government in January of last year, Campbell’s first disclosure did not disclose the fees. His initial form also failed to include a speech he gave to the Prospect Foundation, a Taiwanese political organization.
Campbell submitted the amended disclosure on December 23, one day after his wife, Lael Brainard, turned in her financial disclosure forms related to her nomination by Biden as vice-chair of the Federal Reserve. Brainard has been questioned previously for refusing to say if she believes in socialism or capitalism and her positive comments about the Chinese Communist Party.
Blackstone has aggressively campaigned for the US to develop closer economic connections to communist China. CEO Stephen Schwarzman is reputed to have the “closest relationship” to the Beijing regime of any American business executive. Until 2018, China’s sovereign wealth fund held a 12.5 percent ownership interest in Blackstone.
Campbell has been criticized for operating his Asia Group consultancy as a “shadow lobbying firm.” Watchdogs groups have warned of Campbell’s conflicts of interest in his National Security Council position because of his economic interests in Chinese clients. When he was nominated last year, The White House said that he would recuse himself from any matters involving Asia Group clients and include the conflicts on his Ethics Office disclosures.
Campbell’s amended filing also shows that he was paid over $1,600,000 by Asia Group last year. He affirmed last June that the Biden Administration would be continuing the US policy against recognizing Taiwan as an independent nation separate from China’s authority.
Campbell also previously served as a member of the board of the US-China Strong Foundation, described as “heavily influenced” by the Chinese Communist Party.