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Records Show Trump Tied to China Deals 10/21 06:23

   

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump spent a decade unsuccessfully 
pursuing projects in China, operating an office there during his first run for 
president and forging a partnership with a major government-controlled company, 
The New York Times reported Tuesday.

   China is one of only three foreign nations --- the others are Britain and 
Ireland --- where Trump maintains a bank account, according to a Times analysis 
of the president's tax records. The foreign accounts do not show up on Trump's 
public financial disclosures, where he must list personal assets, because they 
are held under corporate names.

   The Chinese account is controlled by Trump International Hotels Management 
LLC, which the tax records show paid $188,561 in taxes in China while pursuing 
licensing deals there from 2013 to 2015.

   In response to questions from The Times, Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump 
Organization, said the company had "opened an account with a Chinese bank 
having offices in the United States in order to pay the local taxes" associated 
with efforts to do business there. He said the company had opened the account 
after establishing an office in China "to explore the potential for hotel deals 
in Asia."

   "No deals, transactions or other business activities ever materialized and, 
since 2015, the office has remained inactive," Garten said. "Though the bank 
account remains open, it has never been used for any other purpose."

   Garten would not identify the bank in China where the account is held.

   China continues to be an issue in the 2020 presidential campaign, from the 
president's trade war to his barbs over the origin of the coronavirus pandemic. 
His campaign has tried to portray former Vice President Joe Biden as misreading 
the dangers posed by China's growing power. Trump has also sought to tar his 
opponent with overblown or unsubstantiated assertions about Hunter Biden's 
business dealings there while his father was in office.

   As for the former vice president, his public financial disclosures, along 
with the income tax returns he voluntarily released, show no income or business 
dealings of his own in China. However, there is ample evidence of Trump's 
efforts to do business there.

   As with Russia, where he explored hotel and tower projects in Moscow without 
success, Trump has long sought a licensing deal in China. His efforts go at 
least as far back as 2006, when he filed trademark applications in Hong Kong 
and the mainland. Many Chinese government approvals came after he became 
president.

   In 2008, Trump pursued an office tower project in Guangzhou that never got 
off the ground. But his efforts accelerated in 2012 with the opening of a 
Shanghai office, and tax records show that one of Trump's China-related 
companies, THC China Development LLC, claimed $84,000 in deductions that year 
for travel costs, legal fees and office expenses.

   The Times said Trump's tax records show that he has invested at least 
$192,000 in five small companies created specifically to pursue projects in 
China over the years. Those companies claimed at least $97,400 in business 
expenses since 2010, including some minor payments for taxes and accounting 
fees as recently as 2018, the Times reported.

 
 
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