Crumbling empires?
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - December 7, 2018 - 12:00am

I just had to read on this one. Recently, several high profile officials from Chinese companies have been arrested for unlawful practices. One of them was Patrick Ho, a former Hong Kong politician who then became secretary general of China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC), an NGO funded by CEFC China Energy, whose founder is Ye Jianming. Ye Jianming headed a multi-billion dollar energy company that had deals with many countries. His rise to fortune was phenomenal. He rubbed elbows with world leaders as he stood beside Chinese President Xi Jinping. He bought several high-end properties all over the world and travels in his own jet.

But the arrest and conviction of Patrick Ho on charges of bribing heads of African nations such as Chad and Uganda for favoring projects of CEFC China Energy in their country has sent his empire crumbling. While Ye Jianming supposedly had deep ties with the Chinese government, the exposure of his business practices may have earned the ire of the powers that be in Beijing, especially his involvement in China’s flagship project, the Belt and Road. Apparently, Patrick Ho used his position in the UN to get to know leaders of many countries. He probably assessed who among these leaders could be bribed. And with China already deep into African development, it was not hard for him to find his targets. Unfortunately, he got caught. As for Ye Jianming, his whereabouts are currently unknown. He may be in the custody of the Chinese government. Is that good or bad? Only he knows.

Then there is the arrest of Huawei Chief Executive Officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada. It is still not clear what she is being charged with, as authorities are not divulging anything about the arrest and the case against her, but it may have something to do with unlawful business practices, particularly dealing with nations like Iran. She is set to be extradited to the US and charged there. Anyone with a smartphone knows what Huawei is. A giant telecommunications company that rivals Apple and the rest of the players. And yes, they have a share in the cellphone industry right here.

Why am I mentioning all these? We currently have Chinese companies coming in left and right, offering this and that to the government and to the private sector. We have a third telecommunications player about to come in, with a Chinese telecommunications company as one of its partners. How sure are we that they have not engaged in the same nefarious business practices that the aforementioned Chinese officials are now being arrested and convicted for? How sure are we that all these Chinese companies coming in are above board in dealing with the government? I’m just asking, since the companies now in question are high-profile companies with dealings all over the world, whose empires are now coming apart. I can only hope none of the companies, particularly its officials this administration is cozying up to, end up like CEFC China Energy, and leave its projects hanging.

korina_abs@yahoo.com

UNLAWFUL
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