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A Microscope Opens on China's Influences in America

That a Chinese official made a plea to JP Morgan Chase's Chief, Jamie Dimon, to hire a family friend of the official, is on par with the conduct of Beijing to win favors, shortcuts and influences in the West. As the New York Times reports, neither Mr. Dimon nor Xiang Junbo, a Chinese insurance regulator, has been accused of wrongdoing, but red flags are obviously raised as to the scope and influences of Beijing in doing business with American firms. As the NYTimes reports, the family friend of the Chinese regulator now works at JP Morgan. However, Federal authorities are now investigating whether the hiring at JP Morgan and at least six other big banks was done explicitly to win business from Chinese companies. The Feds could decide to charge individuals or a bank if it is discovered that the activity violated anti-bribery laws. As the NYTimes reported; "At the time of Mr. Dimon's June 2012 meeting with the Chinese insurance regulator, Xiang Junbo, JP Morgan was seeking lucrative work from Chinese insurance companies. Mr. Xiang, a former banker who had been trying to secure a JP Morgan job for his young family friend a month before the meeting, would have a good deal of sway over those companies." Mr. Dimon  said the Bank would "do what we can." According to emails and other documents turned over to investigators, the Chinese official asked Mr. Dimon "for favor to retain her in US team". JP Morgan created a special internship to accommodate the applicant and in early 2013, JP Morgan assigned her to a group within the bank's New York headquarters that is focused on the insurance business. She later got a full time job at the bank, according to the NYTimes. As with JP Morgan, Federal authorities are also looking into Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS and other banks. Recently, an SEC Judge suspended for six months the Chinese departments of the audit world's Big Four - KPMG, PWC, Deloitte Touche and Ernst and Young over accounting practices in their Chinese departments. Moreover, the scope of China's attempts to influence, to penetrate and to attain US favors and secrets, transcends the banking and insurance industries to also reach agriculture. In Iowa, there is the story of the farmer stumbling across two Chinese men digging up a corn field; after an investigation by the FBI,  arrests have been made with stealing seed secrets. Similarly, there is the case of Agricultural scientists, Zeng Weiqiang and Yan Wengui both accused of giving proprietary rice seeds that contained medicinal qualities to crop researchers in their native China. Such agricultural crop research products costs American farmers million of dollars to develop and for China to possess them without the research costs, would amount to billions of dollars in savings to the Beijing communists.

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