The China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) is a state-owned firm and is part of the Chinese government. It is controlled by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). It has been implicated in the theft of highly sensitive American technology and the provision of that technology to the Chinese Communist Party. In fact, it appears that the General Nuclear Power Corporation was created for the sole purpose of stealing American nuclear secrets.
In 2017 Szuhsiung Ho, a consultant employed by CGN was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with “assisting CGN in procuring U.S.-based nuclear engineers to assist with designing and manufacturing certain components for nuclear reactors.” Ho ultimately pled guilty, paid a fine of $20,000, and was sentenced to two years in prison.
CGN was formed in 2014. One of its cornerstone investors was the private equity firm BHR Partners, headed up by Vice-President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. The company put $10 million into the initial public offering for CGN. BHR Partners was a joint venture between Rosemont Seneca Partners, an investment fund founded by Hunter Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry’s stepson in 2009, and the state-owned Bank of China.
This billion-dollar fund came into existence less than two weeks after Hunter Biden accompanied his father on a state visit to Beijing. The money to create the fund came from the Chinese government.
Ho was responsible for recruiting six nuclear engineers to provide information to CGN. The information was sometimes relayed through Ho and sometimes directly to CGN during trips there. Ho additionally operated a front company called Energy Technology International in Delaware. The engineers providing intelligence to Beijing were “hired” by CGN through this company. At least one of the engineers was an employee of the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The six engineers provided information on nuclear fuel materials including the plutonium used in MOX fuel, the U-233 used in the thorium fuel cycle, and conventional U-235 enriched nuclear fuel. The intelligence appears to have been used by the Chinese to advance their own work on new reactor types including the new ACPR small modular reactor.
China is competing – head to head – with American companies like Westinghouse for new nuclear reactor deals abroad. The information stolen from the United States may well provide China the necessary competitive advantage to land as many as thirty new reactor construction contracts. There have also been indications that some of the information stolen may pertain to the kinds of reactors used on American nuclear submarines. Even after the DOJ action and Ho’s conviction, Biden and BHR did not divest from CGN.
Biden and BHR were also involved in other joint ventures with the Chinese government targeting sensitive American technology and strategic materials. BHR and the Chinese state-owned military aviation contractor Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) bought the American “dual-use” part manufacturer Henniges in 2015. Henniges manufactures anti-vibration technology with military applications.
The year before Biden’s BHR teamed up with AVIC that company stole technology related to the F-35 fighter program from the United States.
BHR made another investment with a Chinese state-owned company in 2016. That company, China Molybdenum, acquires molybdenum, and other rare-earth minerals that have military and nuclear applications. The company is controlled by the Chinese government. In 2016 China Molybdenum announced it was buying more than half of the Tenke Fungurume copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo for $2.6 billion. A few months later, BHR announced it would buy another 24 percent stake in the mine for $1.5 billion. The mine provides metals crucial to transportation, communications, construction, computers, medical science, and emerging technologies.
Hunter Biden’s business dealings have been in the news for some time, and there seems little doubt that his ethics are questionable at best. Any objective assessment of his involvement with the Ukrainian firm Burisma, for instance, reveals that he was almost certainly paid to use his influence with his father, the Vice-President, and other U.S. officials to bring pressure to bear on the Ukrainian government to terminate the ongoing corruption investigation of Burisma and its leadership. Anyone who has watched the infamous video of Joe Biden bragging about leaning on the Ukrainians to fire the prosecutor conducting the investigation will likely conclude Hunter did exactly what he was paid to do, provide top cover.
Hunter’s involvement with CGN, though, is something qualitatively different. This was not simply a matter of a guy who had been tossed out of the Navy for cocaine use cashing in on his father’s position. This was a matter of climbing in bed with a hostile power and working as an agent of that government to the detriment of the citizens of the United States. This was not just corruption. This was espionage.
Was Joe Biden’s son part of a Chinese spy operation to steal U.S. nuclear technology? Sure smells that way.