Mitch McConnell's Absurd Connections to China
Mitch McConnell's extended family might as well include Hunter Biden, as they sit on various boards in lucrative industries with seemingly no real knowledge or experience.
From humble beginnings in the rural Alabama community of Athens, where his family “almost went broke” due to medical costs related to a polio diagnosis at the age of 2, to being one of the wealthiest elected officials in Congress after nearly four decades in the Senate, Mitch McConnell personifies the Washington grift against the American taxpayer.
McConnell’s entire adult life has been spent in government, and at no time has he earned, at least in his official capacity, more than $200,000 per year. In fact, the salary of a U.S. Senator when he entered office the same year that Ronald Reagan nearly swept the 1984 electoral college was “just” $75,000. Nevertheless, McConnell has managed to accumulate a net worth in the tens of millions of dollars over the span of almost half a century, impressive even among his crony capitalist colleagues.
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Even more stunningly, McConnell has achieved this substantial fortune without seemingly having to follow Nancy Pelosi’s stock trades, which consistently outperform the market year after year. In fact, his portfolio suffered a tremendous hit alongside millions of Americans in 2008. Nevertheless, McConnell still counts among the most enriched political families in the Beltway.
How is this possible? In short, selling out Americans and parlaying his tenure as a power player in the United States Senate into the ensconcement of wealthy Chinese interests, relying especially on convenient personal connections to the communist mainland.
Mitch, Chao, and China
It would be impossible to discuss Mitch McConnell’s financial windfall without focusing first and foremost on the alliterative association with his second wife and her wealthy father’s lengthy resume as a businessman with direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Indeed, it appears that most, if not all, of McConnell’s own economic rise correlates to his 1993 marriage to the daughter of a shipping tycoon.
To be clear, tax reports show a clear distinction between moderate and obscene net worth before and after the creation of the swampiest power couples in the early 1990s.
Kentucky’s senior Republican Senator and naturalized citizen Elaine Chao wed in 1993. Like Mitch, Elaine was by then already well-established within the inner circle of Washington, D.C. In 1986, she held an advanced sinecure as a Deputy Administrator within the auspices of the Department of Transportation. She would later serve as the chairwoman of the Federal Maritime Commission and even appeared on stage at the 1988 Republican National Convention lending support to the eventual nominee and presidential victor George Herbert Walker Bush. Bush would later tap her to serve as Deputy Secretary for the Department of Transportation and likewise to head the Peace Corps during his administration.
Bernie Sanders was rightfully raked over the coals for his 1980s honeymoon to the Soviet Union, during which time he had already developed a deep disdain for America. Bernie Sanders is a multi-millionaire idiot ingrate. Given the state of Kentucky’s pattern of electing limited government Republicans such as Rand Paul and Thomas Massie, it would seem there is an entrenched attitude of disdain for people who hate the U.S. Constitution and articulated ideals of this nation.
The bluegrass state of Kentucky is beautiful, and the values and mindsets of its people are admirable, which makes this next paragraph all the more perplexing.
Just months after their 1993 political marriage, McConnell and Chao honeymooned in the communist nation of China. On the surface, this alone would seem a bizarre choice. No clear, blue waters of the Caribbean? No beaches? No brick-laden, historical strolls down famous European streets? Add to this the discomforting notion that McConnell became just the second Republican Senator to visit mainland China since its murderous rampage at Tiananmen Square.
Bernie Sanders would be proud. In fairness to him, at least, he visited a country he openly admires. McConnell’s trip, on the other hand, came in opposition to his public persona.
Naive observers might simply write off the invitation as a way for China to move on from its bad press over the massacre at Tiananmen, as well as jockeying for a larger role in the globalizing economy. Within the next decade, it would be a participant in the World Trade Organization. After all, it wouldn’t be the first, or certainly the last, time a hostile nation with a lucrative market curried political favors from powerful public figures. However, it’s impossible to overlook the fact that joining McConnell was not just his new bride, but his new father-in-law as well.
Not Your Average Father-in-Law
A burgeoning international tycoon, James Chao currently adorns his multinational shipping company’s headquarters in New York with pillows featuring the U.S. Senate logo. He isn’t shy about acknowledging the role the office of his son-in-law plays in his massive empire plays. In the early 1990s, he was just getting it off the ground, and the McConnell partnership fast-tracked him to unimaginable success.
Chao was born in China in 1927, and his Wikipedia biography says he left the mainland for Taiwan in 1949, writing that he “relocated..to Taiwan at the culmination of the Chinese Civil War.” This would suggest he was fleeing the Maoist uprising. What’s more, Elaine Chao is repeatedly recognized as a Taiwanese woman given her 1953 birth on the tiny nation island. She is credited with being the first “Asian-Pacific” woman to serve on a presidential cabinet.
There are two readings into that. The more innocent one is that she is being recognized for her heritage. The more cynical is that her Chinese affiliation is being glossed over. Given her family’s close financial relationship with the CCP, it is not hard to argue for the latter.
Indeed, the media’s narrative of a Taiwanese affiliation falls apart in a separate section on Wikipedia, where the senior Chao’s biography notes that he quickly “advanced through the ranks [of the Chinese navy] to become one of the youngest sea captains at the age of 29.” His move to the island is more closely associated with a deployment to the island as a mariner rather than one of a political refugee. He left Taiwan in 1958 for, and his family would later join him in, New York City.
Shortly after, he founded the Foremost Group, the same company that would, in 1993, somehow blossom out of a 30-year doldrum into a massively successful international venture.
Actions Speak Louder than Words
The Chinese used the honeymoon trip to their own advantage, able to point to the fact that key U.S. players appeared to have normalized relations and had moved on from not just that episode, but in essence the ongoing totalitarian tendencies of the corrupt regime.
To be sure, McConnell has used his position over the years to condemn the Chinese. In one such commemorative address on the Senate floor, which came right as China was cracking down on a similar protest for democracy in Hong Kong in 2017, he lamented both the human loss and refusal to permit individual freedom.
Because of China's censorship and disinformation, we still do not know how many brave Chinese people were killed by their own government. On June the fourth 1989, conservative estimate, say hundreds, others say 1000s A burst of violence against peaceful democracy protesters, weeks of arrest, roundups, and executions.
And then Madam President, total silence. Never since have Chinese people been able to freely and openly remember the atrocity, never outside the oasis of Hong Kong has a single formal gathering of China on Chinese soil been permitted to commemorate the victims. 31 years ago, brave Chinese flooded that public square and others across their nation in the fervent hope that economic liberalization would also lead to a less authoritarian, more open society. What they got were bodies littering the ground and a shocked world sanctioning the PRC.
But as time passed, the world relaxed somewhat and returned to a strategy of welcoming China into the global public square, bringing the PRC and international institutions in the hope that an included China would actually play by the rules.
The CCP is selfish, and failures fueled a worldwide catastrophe.
But, words are cheap. And actions speak louder than words. For however much McConnell might personally loathe the Chinese government, it isn’t stopping him or his ethnic Chinese family from cashing their checks.
The Chao Family Business Gets Big…Real Big
Investigative journalist Peter Schweizer, writing in Red Handed, wrote that McConnell’s 1993 “meetings had a commercial component.” Think Nancy Pelosi defying all geopolitical logic and visiting Taiwan in 2022 amidst the backdrop of a possible Chinese invasion to visit semiconductor plants. At the time, tensions were high and her trip included a record-breaking number of naval support vessels surrounding the waters.
As previously with Bernie Sanders, Pelosi got flack, and her trip was considered nothing more than an abuse of her position to fill he own coffers.
So again, why is it that Kentucky has elected and subsequently re-elected “Cocaine Mitch” - a nickname derived from the discovery of 90 pounds of cocaine aboard one of his father-in-law’s Chinese-built ships departing from Columbia - a total of seven consecutive times to the position of U.S. Senator? It appears that he is afforded electoral protection by merely putting an “R” behind his name.
According to the Chinese government media, McConnell and the Chao family ‘arrived in Beijing at the invitation of the Chinese State Shipbuilding Corporation’ (CSSC). That massive government-owned entity would play a central role in the rise of the McConnell-Chao family fortunes.
For the next several decades, Foremost Marine, the Chao family shipping empire, would see its fleet expand and its customers in mainland China grow.
Previously, this article mentioned that Mitch McConnell was quite wealthy despite not inheriting much nor earning a salary commensurate to such wealth. Instead, his personal economic comforts owe almost entirely to his connections with China, vis-a-vis both marriage to ethnic Chinese and the Chinese government apparatus as a whole.
A considerable amount of “McConnell’s money amounts to little more than a transfer of Chao’s extensive wealth. The New York Post reported in 2018, in a follow-up piece to an earlier Schweizer expose, Secret Empires, that a hefty “gift” was made by Elaine Chao’s father, James, to his daughter and son-in-law.
“In 2004, current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, current U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, had an average net worth of $3.1 million. Ten years later, that number had increased to somewhere between $9.2 million and $36.5 million.,” the Post wrote. Just for comparison’s sake, the median net worth of the average American white male, in that same time frame, actually dipped from $191,000 in 2004 to the low $160,000 range. So McConnell was already doing really well, and then somehow increased his net worth north of 10x whereas his white male counterparts lost 15% of theirs.
It’s good to be in politics…and connected to the CCP.
The gift was suggested to have been made around 2008 for the apparent reason that McConnell’s investments were struggling after the Great Financial Crash. More sinister reasons might suggest that the elderly Chao was thanking and influencing, rather than gifting, the enablers of his scheme.
Schwiever noted that despite decades in the business, James only started ordering ships from the Chinese in 1990, though it wouldn’t take off until after the infamous 1993 honeymoon visit, in which he was curiously involved. Remember, he joined McConnell on the state-sponsored trip. Between 2001 and 2011, Foremost Marine later received ten behemoth ships from the Chinese-owned ship maker. All of this has to be viewed in the context of his daughter Elaine’s power-broking marriage to McConnell.
When Elaine Chao became transportation secretary in the Trump administration in 2017, the relationship grew even more.
As of July 18, the Foremost Group signed a series of contracts with the China State Shipbuilding Corporation to build ten more ships, including six of the massive 208,000-ton variety. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but similar transactions with other entities buying these large vessels put the price tag over $50 million each. That puts the total of the deal in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Continuing, the deal was structured in a way that has the CSSC financing the construction, manning the ships with exclusively Chinese personnel, and transporting raw Chinese materials to various foreign ports.
Incredibly, the CCP is quite open about sharing how James Chao helped develop their entire shipping empire. Schweizer quotes then-Chinese president Hu Jintao praising Chao specifically, saying Chao was celebrated “for his years of support [specifically] to the Chinese shipbuilding industry and his contribution to the shipbuilding industry [as a whole].” Talk about convenient.
The one person who helped usher China into the global economy also happens to be the father-in-law to one of the most influential politicians in Washington, D.C. You can’t make this up.
What’s more, the Chao family connections don’t end there. Angela Chao, a younger sister of Elaine’s with presumably as much insight into Pacific shipping as Hunter Biden has with Eastern European energy, sat on the board of directors of CSSC along with her father. She was later confirmed to be on the board of the Bank of China. Is she as much an expert in global finance as she is in global transportation? Like her sister, she knows how to marry; her husband Jim Breyer is co-chairman of IDG Capital, headquartered in Beijing, and a major investor in Chinese companies, including those connected to the military industry.
Elaine Chao, Crosser of Aisles
As an aside, it’s simply worth pointing out that the Swamp truly enjoyed seeing Elaine Chao resurface as a key player in Washington politics when Donald Trump nominated her to the position of Secretary of Transportation in 2017. Readers will hardly need reminding of the unbridled outrage toward, or sheer number of lies told about, the former president when he ascended to the White House. Relatedly, it was hardly surprising that his cabinet officials, like his Supreme Court nominees later, faced tremendous obstacles during confirmation hearings.
Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, made history after requiring Vice President Mike Pence to deliver a tie-breaking Senate vote. She was confirmed by a 51-50 margin.
Other cabinet officials faced similar hurdles. In nominating two Attorneys General, Trump saw Jeff Sessions and William Barr - no outsiders, to be sure - pass their confirmation hearings by the margins of 52-47 and 54-45, respectively. Eventual Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin became official after a tight 53-47 Senate vote leaned in his favor.
Likewise, two Secretaries of State, first Rex Tillerson and later Mike Pompeo - similarly well positioned within either the corporate or Deep State circles - failed to secure even 60% of the Senates’ votes, eeking out 55-43 and 57-42 confirmation victories.
Ben Carson (58-41) and Rick Perry (62-37) would also see more contentious hearings.
Enter Elaine Chao, a career Republican player if there ever was one. Remember, she had served in the Reagan and Bush administrations in various roles. Later on, she became the only cabinet official to serve the entirety of the second Bush administration’s eight years as his Secretary of Labor.
It might as well be added that she was the wife of a powerful Republican Senator, who was fresh in the crosshairs of livid Democrats for blocking the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland. Historians might well conclude that Donald Trump was elected for the simple matter that he would reshape the court.
So it requires a lot of explaining to understand how Elaine Chao, despite nearly every single one of the hated Donald Trump’s picks facing fervidly heated, emotional, and contentious confirmation hearings, breezed through the entire Senate by a vote of 93-6.
Only Defense Secretary James Mattis did better in that sense (98-1), and even so, he has some questionable ties to China. Curiously, in recent times nominated Secretaries of Defense have had much easier confirmation proceedings, and Barack Obama famously kept his predecessor’s in place during the transition from a Republican administration to a Democrat one. Of Mattis, later in his book Peter Schweizer noted that following his military retirement he enjoyed a stint with the Chinese-affiliated Cohen Group. The Cohen Group was founded by another former Secretary of Defense, former Republican Senator-turned-Bill Clinton pick. As Schweizer wrote, the coalition was formed in 2001 “to advise on everything from the defense industry to international trade.”
Befitting a sell-out RINO, Elaine Chao was the highest-ranking Trump official to resign in the wake of January 6th, doing so the very next day.
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