The art dealer who is handling Hunter Biden’s work claimed in 2015 that he wanted to be the “lead guy in China,” a development that could pose new problems for the administration as it is likely to generate new criticisms about undue foreign influence from a competitor nation.
The dealer, Georges Berges, has discussed dealing with artists and buyers in China in the past, so handling Hunter Biden now that his father is president is likely to pose major ethics issues, especially since the White House is not being transparent regarding who is purchasing the artwork.
A spokesperson for Berges told Fox News earlier that all of Biden’s art sales are to be kept “confidential.” White House officials said the administration has a plan in place they say is designed to take care of the ethical concerns — namely, that Hunter Biden won’t know who the buyers are for his work. But that isn’t likely to satisfy the concerns of administration critics, especially after Hunter Biden turned heads recently when he announced he’ll show up at art shows attended by potential buyers of his work, which has been widely panned by art critics.
But it’s Berges’ comment about China six years ago that is causing new concerns.
“My plan is to be the lead guy in China; the lead collector and art dealer discovering and nurturing talent from that region,” Berges told Resident in 2015. “I plan to find and discover and bring to the rest of the world those I consider China’s next generation of modern artists.”
He went on to say that he thinks “China’s economy is transforming the global economy and everything is changing because of a rising China.” He also said he was intrigued by the “cultural impact” he believes China is “having on the world.”
“Cultural power is real power. That is the reason America continues to be the capital of the world, because of its influence on culture for generations and on an unrivaled global level,” Berges told the publication. “And I think more and more the Chinese are beginning to understand that cultural innovation will power their future cultural influence across continents.”
A year earlier, Berges told Quest magazine that he traveled to China at least “three or four times a year,” and at the time he had developed a “solid group of about 25 collectors, most of them overseas.”
A major concern over Berges’ China ties and buyer anonymity is that they could have ties to the Communist government in Beijing and then use those ties to essentially buy influence within President Joe Biden’s administration via purchases of artwork.
In addition, the artist rep has been quoted in the state-run newspaper China Daily, seen by U.S. intelligence as little more than an official organ of the Communist government, regarding his ties to a philanthropic event held with a trio of Chinese artists.
Berges said their pieces “are not just pretty objects to create, but also challenge the locals’ perceptions of what China is and the institutions they live with.”
Finally, there were concerns about undue Chinese influence prior to the election, as reports noted that Hunter Biden had financial ties to business interests in China that were also linked to the government.
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