Fugitive Chinese tycoon Guo Wengui has posted photographs on social media of two separate meetings in less than a week with former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, raising eyebrows.
The billionaire businessmen posted on social media website Twitter on Tuesday (Oct 10) that he first met Mr Bannon for lunch in Washington last Thursday after attending an event at the National Press Club. The second meeting between Mr Bannon and Guo, who is wanted in China on corruption charges, came on Tuesday, when Mr Bannon and his team visited Guo’s home in New York for a three-and-a-half hour dinner, reported the South China Morning Post.
Guo posted four photographs of the meetings, but his post did not disclose what the discussions were about. However, it said that Mr Bannon had agreed for the images to be posted on the social media website.
The tweet came after Mr Bannon was reported to have met Mr Wang Qishan, the head of China‘s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection – which spearheads China’s war on graft – in Beijing last month.
Mr Wang is at the centre of allegations of corruption made by the self-exiled Guo against senior members of the Communist Party in the run-up to the 19th National Congress next week.
The Chinese government has attempted to discredit Guo, who is wanted in connection with crimes including bribery, fraud and rape. He is also the subject of an Interpol red notice requested by Beijing.
According to the Financial Times, Mr Wang and Mr Bannon met for about 90 minutes at the Communist Party’s headquarters in Zhongnanhai. Sources said that Mr Wang asked Mr Bannon about economic nationalism and populist movements during their meeting, which came after Mr Bannon left US President Donald Trump’s administration in mid-August.
Mr Bannon had given a speech on the same subject at an investor conference in Hong Kong before his meeting with Mr Wang.
Speaking at the National Press Club event last Thursday, Guo claimed that China had sent dozens of spies to the US. However, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security dismissed the allegations, reported SCMP.
Mr Bannon had also travelled last month to the United Arab Emirates, where he met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, according to the New York Times.
Guo was introduced in 2013 to Crown Prince bin Zayed, who helped him raised US$3 billion (S$4.07 billion) for a fund jointly held by Guo and Abu Dhabi authorities, Chinese financial magazine Caixin reported in July.