In 2018, The Chinese Gov’t Approved A $500M Loan For A Trump Project In Asia
An Indonesian real estate project featuring a sprawling Trump resort — complete with hotel, condos, and golf course — and a planned theme park reportedly brought on Chinese government backing in 2018, The Associated Press reported.
Indonesian company MNC Land confirmed last year that a Chinese government-owned company was hired to build the theme park — a deal that the AP noted would benefit President Donald Trump and was announced just as Chinese officials were headed to Washington for trade talks.
At the time, ethics experts said the arrangement potentially put Trump in danger of violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which bans gifts from the president from receiving gifts from foreign governments.
The potential remained in spite of the fact that Trump began the project in 2015, prior to taking office.
Billionaire Hary Tanoesoedibjo, who owns MNC Land, attended Trump’s inauguration, the AP noted. The company defended its hiring of a subsidiary of the state-owned Metallurgical Corp. of China, insisting the theme park and Trump resort had nothing to do with another.
The company also said that reports of a Chinese government-back $500 million loan for the project were false; however, in August, both the Trump Organization and MNC Land announced that Chinese financing for the project is now dead in the water.
According to MarketWatch, Tanoesoedibjo said MNC Land had been in talks with a Chinese bank about a loan for the theme park but those talks had been cancelled.
“It was done by our team, but finally we dropped it,” he said, offering no further details. The deal’s cancellation has not been independently verified.
MarketWatch noted that Tanoesoedibjo is also working with Trump’s company on another project: “the 102-hectare (250-acre) Trump International Resort, Golf Club and Residences located near Bali’s sacred Hindu temple of Tanah Lot.”
The Trump Organization will manage both properties under an agreement Trump reached with MNC Land prior to taking office.
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., insisted that the foreign deals present no ethics concerns, saying in August, “My father is not at all involved, and he won’t make decisions that affect a country based on a real estate deal.”
“We should be very ... very clear about that,” he added. Trump Jr. runs day-to-day operations at the Trump Organization with his brother, Eric Trump, while their father is in office.