Headline RoundupJuly 14th, 2022

Why Did the US Sell Oil to a Chinese Company With Ties to Hunter Biden?

AllSides Summary

A Chinese government-controlled oil conglomerate that Hunter Biden once invested in bought nearly 1 million barrels of U.S. crude oil in April. Is this cause for concern, or par for the course?

Unipec, the trading arm of China's Petrochemical Corporation (also known as Sinopec), bought 950,000 barrels from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in April after President Joe Biden ordered a major stockpile release. In 2015, a private equity firm cofounded by Hunter Biden bought a $1.7 billion stake in Sinopec Marketing. A lawyer for Hunter Biden said in 2021 that he "no longer holds any interest, directly or indirectly," in BHR Partners, the fund that bought the Sinopec stake. In March, the Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) reported that business records continue to list Hunter Biden as a 10% owner of BHR. 

Right-rated outlets focused on the news much more. Many framed the sale as enabling China to boost its own reserves and deplete the U.S. oil supply. Some on the right also highlighted Hunter Biden's Sinopec ties and questioned whether the sale was facilitated to benefit him financially. Coverage from left-rated outlets focused on trying to debunk purported misinformation about the sale, and highlighted industry voices who said selling oil to China was unsurprising and uncontroversial. One fact-check from The Washington Post argued that Biden "is seeking to lower the global price of crude oil by bolstering supply around the globe." Few center-rated sources covered the news.

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