Antony Blinken’s firm had bragged about linking China donors with universities under Pentagon’s nose
The consulting firm cofounded by Joe Biden’s secretary of state nominee Antony Blinken removed its China-related business dealings from its website as questions about the firm’s work with the Communist nation began to surface.
WestExec Advisors had bragged on its website about helping U.S. universities garnish donations from China without raising suspicions from the Pentagon, who provided research grants to these universities in many cases.
From Washington Examiner:
As recently as late July, WestExec Advisors touted its work helping major American universities court donations in China without jeopardizing Pentagon-funded research grants. An archived version of the WestExec site states that “U.S. research universities” were among the company’s clients and that the consultancy worked with schools to “remain a trusted partner for DoD-sponsored research grants while expanding foreign research collaboration, accepting foreign donations, and welcoming foreign students in key STEM programs.” The company deleted references to such work from its website between July 26 and August 2, weeks before Biden accepted his nomination at the Democratic National Convention in late August.
The consultancy’s work is under the microscope because Biden has tapped, or is considering tapping, several of its principals and advisers who have thus far refused to disclose their clients or elaborate on the precise nature of their work.
In fact, Biden may still bring on more individuals linked to WestExec.
“Biden is eyeing Blinken’s WestExec cofounder, the former Pentagon official Michèle Flournoy, as a potential secretary of defense. His nominee to be the intelligence chief, Avril Haines, and incoming press secretary Jen Psaki have also done work for the firm,” the Examiner reported.
“A spokeswoman for WestExec told the Washington Free Beacon that the firm ‘previously offered a service targeted to U.S. research universities to help them avoid inadvertently becoming involved with the Chinese government.’ She said the company no longer offers the service but declined to elaborate on why that decision was made.”
Blinken had previously slammed President Trump’s foreign policy with China in a 2017 New York Times op-ed.
“While Mr. Trump is obsessed with building walls, Mr. Xi is busy building bridges,” Blinken wrote. “I’d never bet against the United States, but if the Trump-led retreat into nationalism, protectionism, unilateralism and xenophobia continues, China’s model could carry the day.”