The GOP, China and Sheldon Adelson

Robert Keatley writes: Mitt Romney promises that as president he would be tougher on China than Barack Obama, the man he hopes to replace in the White House. He vows that he wouldn’t coddle Beijing’s communist leaders and would demand they cancel their expanding list of trade restrictions, give the currency an honest value and stop abusing human rights. He also promises to expand the U.S. Pacific fleet to discourage any expansionist ideas they may hold.

But when it comes to campaign cash that flows, indirectly at least, partly from China with perhaps illegal origins, he seems bent on taking all he can get, even though that money supply depends largely upon the continued goodwill of those who command the Chinese Communist Party.

The issue centers on the relationship of Romney and the Republican Party with Sheldon Adelson, the casino multibillionaire who has pledged up to a startling $100 million to defeat Obama and put in office a president he expects to be much friendlier to Israel, one of his lifelong concerns. The main source of the Adelson billions has become Macau, a city on the southern coast near Hong Kong that is the only Chinese territory where its wealthy citizens can gamble legally—and where many, it is commonly believed, find its thirty-five casinos convenient for laundering cash acquired by less-than-honest means. The Adelson political contributions come as he is being investigated by the state of Nevada, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission for possible bribery of mainland and Macau officials, which would be in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. (He denies all allegations strenuously.)

Sheldon Adelson controls four of Macau’s biggest and most spectacular casinos, and they have become the main profit center of the traded companies he heads—the Las Vegas Sands Corp. and its listed subsidiary, Sands China Ltd. Forbes earlier this year estimated his net worth at $24.9 billion, seventh highest in the United States and fourteenth in the world. [Continue reading…]

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