It seems that as of late many connections between the Chinese government and US officials are coming to light. Of course, as seen in a previous article, Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden seem to have deep ties to the authoritarian state. Another prominent figure is also coming under scrutiny lately. That is Elaine Chao (趙小蘭).
Chao is the current US Secretary of Transportation. From 2001 to 2009 she was the Secretary of Labor under the George W. Bush administration. Chao was born in Taipei, Taiwan. Her parents had fled China after the Chinese Civil War between the Nationalist KMT Party, 中國國民黨, one of the two major parties in active in Taiwan today, and the Chinese Communist Party, the CCP, 中國共產黨, the ruling party in China today.
Chao immigrated to the United States and after completing schooling went on to hold many prominent positions both in and out of government. She served in various positions under President Reagan, H.W. and then George W. Bush, and now under Trump. She previously worked at the Hudson Institute and the Heritage Foundation, two conservative think tanks. She also served for a time as a director of the Peace Corps. In 1993 she married self-proclaimed Grim Reaper, Mitch McConnell.
Let me be clear: I will be the ‘grim reaper’ in the Senate when it comes to socialist schemes that would destroy jobs, private health insurance, and the free enterprise system. pic.twitter.com/Jzcl4khLAk
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) May 8, 2019
All of these items have little to do with the purpose of this article. While I would disagree with her politically in many, if not most areas, I would not take the time to write and article about her. The purpose of this article is Chao’s relationship to the company her family runs and its and Chao’s connection to the CCP.
In 1964 Elaine’s parents, James and Ruth Chao, founded the Foremost Group. Chairman and CEO of the company today is Elaine’s sister Angela Chao.
The company is technically an American company. It has even had contracts with the US government. This includes the company’s first US government contract which was to send rice to Vietnam during the Vietnam War, though, currently it is much more connected to the authoritarian regime in China.
Now a ship maker, most of its vessels are constructed in China in facilities owned by the state. Some of these ships are even built with loans provided by the CCP. Foremost has and continues to get millions of dollars from the CCP through its banks according to the Times. These funds are in the form of loan commitments. The group has also penned deals with many state-owned companies including ship builders and steel manufactures. This may seem insignificant at first glance, however when one looks at the numbers, it quickly becomes staggering.
Being a dry bulk carrier it seems that the company would work throughout the world in various countries. Though this is partially true, over 70 percent of the goods the company ships go through China. As hinted at before, steel is a big part of this and steel is a huge part of the Chinese economy.
According to the US Department of Commerce, China exported 66.8 million metric tons of steel in 2008, making it the world’s leading steel exporter. Its two largest producers being Baowu Group and HBIS Group (Hesteel), both of which happen to be Chinese state owned companies, to no one’s surprise. China has also seen a growth in steel exports of almost 200 percent in the last ten year, though the recent tariff imposed by US President Donald Trump of 25 percent could have an impact on these numbers in the future.
Counter to Trump’s rhetoric, and action in regard to tariffs, Chao’s Transportation Department has done a poor job of advocating for American sailors and vessels.
Under Chao’s watch her department has repeatedly called for cuts to funding. If implemented these cuts would have cut programs intended to boost shipping via American vessels. In addition, they have proposed in their fiscal plans that training for future seamen be cut. These planned cuts were rejected by a bipartisan majority in congress, and members of the DOT have claimed that the push for the reductions came from the Executive branch. The question still remains, “why would the department wish to cut such programs?” One answer may be Elaine Chao’s connection to her family’s maritime business.
It seems that even though the Transportation Secretary worked at the company since the 70s, she has worked diligently to help the company held by her family members throughout her entire time in government.
Chao has met with Chinese media outlets to speak about her family’s business, often with her father in tow. She has also attended numerous business events celebrated by the company.
According to a New York Times article, Chao attended a contract-signing ceremony for Foremost. The event was even more dubious than it looked on its face. The 2017 meeting was required to be approved by the Transportation Department. The trip was eventually canceled by the department, siting a conflicting meeting that President Trump had called.
Only a few months later she was forced to cancel a trip to China due to worries about the ethics of such a meeting. Chao had requested that family members connected to Foremost join in the event. She has also been apprehensive at best to reveal both her and her family’s ties to the CCP.
The Times have also said that did not reveal the various awards that she has acquired in China. One such prize was being made an international adviser in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. The Senate requests all applicants to include all of their honorary positions. The secretary also omitted her family’s close relationship with the CCP.
Even though Chao wrote that her family members “embody the American dream,” it has been reported that they also have close ties to people as powerful as Jiang Zemin (江澤民), now retired former president of China.
The Chaos have bristled at criticism of their family’s connections to China. Angela Chao was quoted as saying “I don’t think that, if I didn’t have a Chinese face, there would be any of this focus on China,” to the Times. That is certainly not the case with this site, and I’m guessing the vast majority of others aren’t skeptical of her for her face alone either, rather for the appearance of massive, deliberately obscured, conflicts of interest. Not long ago I wrote a scathing article about two straight white men and their dubious relationship with the CCP. The FCP is not here to play the identity politics game.
The same issue shows itself in this case. Chao has family clearly connected to the Communist Party of China, a family that has contributed millions of dollars to both her and her husband. That company gets a large portion of its financing from a state-owned bank in China, therefore essentially directly from the CCP. Keep in mind that the province of Xinjiang is essentially an open air prison and in addition the Chinese government is running concentration camps there. The China Tribunal also recently concluded that there is organ harvesting going on in China. These are the real issues, not Angela Chao’s facial features.
There should be a massive ethics investigation into Elaine Chao and her connections to Foremost and China. US government officials should not be taking money, directly or indirectly, the the despicable government in China.
While I don’t think I agree with Don Blankenship on almost anything he was right about Chao and her husband taking money from China. I personally would never use the words “China people”, but he is right, we need to ditch ‘Cocaine Mitch’ and his ‘China family’.