Business & Technology

Gordon Tang and Huaidan Chen

The power couple shows how Chinese money can enter American politics. And it's all legal.

Businesspeople and political donors

This husband-wife duo know that in U.S. politics, money talks — even foreign money. As Chinese citizens who live in Singapore, the two have cultivated influence among U.S. politicians from the Bush family to former U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke. According to The Intercept, in 2013, Chen bought Locke’s house in Bethesda, Maryland. And Locke now serves as a senior advisor for one of the couple’s companies, American Pacific International Capital (APIC). In 2015, The Intercept reported, APIC donated $1.3 million to a super PAC supporting Jeb Bush. And the former Republican presidential candidate’s brother, Neil Bush, serves as an APIC board member. Bush lost his primary badly, but the donation has a far larger significance, opening the way for more Chinese money to enter U.S. politics. That’s because the Bush donation was all within the law, according to a leaked memo by an outside lawyer for a pro-Bush PAC, as “a domestic subsidiary corporation may … directly contribute to a Super PAC in connection with a federal election.”

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