How close are those ties between Rilin Enterprises and China’s Communist government? Close enough that Beijing trusted Rilin with building its US embassy, for instance, and its billionaire owner has a seat in its one-party parliament. Rilin may have wanted to invest in its future with a $2 million pledge to the Clinton Foundation in 2013, according to CBS News, immediately after Hillary Clinton left office at State:
The Rilin donation came at a time when the Clintons were aggressively raising money and when it was no secret she was readying a run for the White House. It underscores the types of questions the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign will have to answer as they reevaluate their policies.
“If the point is you are not going to take money from foreign governments, then his construction company is as close to not just the Chinese government and as close to the Ministry of State Security as they could possibly be,” said Mann.
“Indirectly the Clinton Foundation has political influence, that’s why people give to it,” said Mann. “People give to the Clinton Foundation particularly because it is the Clintons and because they are prominent politicians in the United States.”
A Rilin spokesperson said Wang “was asked to join the NPC [National People’s Congress], a largely ceremonial body, as a delegate in 2013.”
Rilin also has a checkered history of worker treatment here in the US, as CBS notes:
Rilin, however, has a history of complaints since 2001 regarding its treatment of embassy construction workers. Documents obtained by CBS News show Rilin was cited in 2011 and 2013 by officials in Jersey City, New Jersey for housing workers in unsafe, crowded and unsanitary conditions. The company settled the 2011 violations for $6,066 and says all the charges related to the 2013 inspection were dismissed.
Oddly enough, those charges got dismissed just as Rilin pledged $2 million to the Clinton Foundation, and started spending $1.4 million in lobbying. Go figure. It’s all just a coincidence, no doubt … a coincidence that Rilin and Beijing hope will get repeated often during a Hillary Clinton presidency.
Bill Allison of the Sunlight Foundation makes a similar point at the end. Pretending that the Clinton Foundation is separate from politics and the presidential ambitions of Hillary Clinton is simply absurd. The reason this foundation exists is to give some plausible deniability for the millions that the Clintons rake in for their speeches, and to keep key personnel like Dennis Cheng on the payroll in a way that evades FEC scrutiny. The Clintons are selling access, pure and simple, to those who can write the biggest checks.