President Trump’s former chief strategist Stephen Bannon met with the second most powerful Communist Party official in China during a trip to Beijing last week, The Financial Times reported.
Bannon was invited to meet with the head of the Chinese Communist party’s anti-corruption campaign, Wang Qishan, at the Chinese leadership compound, according to the report.
The 90-minute meeting reportedly took place after Bannon delivered a speech in Hong Kong at an event put on by a unit of the largest Chinese government-owned brokerage.
Sources told the Times that the meeting was unrelated to Trump’s upcoming visit to China.
Bannon, who was seen as an anti-establishment force in the White House, left his post last month following the appointment of retired Gen. John Kelly as Trump’s new chief of staff.
The Breitbart chairman was one of the most influential voices behind Trump’s economic populist campaign rhetoric, in which he repeatedly threatened China for its trade relationship with the U.S.
“We’re at economic war with China,” Bannon told The American Prospect last month, days before he left the White House.
“It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years, and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path. On Korea, they’re just tapping us along. It’s just a sideshow,” he said referring to their trade practices and actions regarding North Korea.
BY JULIA MANCHESTER