Bannon Held Secret Meeting With China's Second Most Powerful Man

Tyler Durden's picture

Shortly after Steve Bannon visited Hong Kong last week to give a closed-door speech at a big investor conference hosted by CLSA, a Chinese state-owned brokerage and investment group, Trump's former strategist flew to Beijing for a "secret meeting with the second most powerful Chinese Communist party official", less than a month after the former chief White House strategist declared that America was at “economic war with China”, the FT has reported.

The meeting occurred at Zhongnanhai, the Chinese leadership compound, where Bannon meet with Wang Qishan, the head of the Chinese Communist party’s anti-corruption campaign.

"The Chinese reached out to Bannon before his Hong Kong speech because they wanted to ask him about economic nationalism and populist movements which was the subject of his speech," the FT quoted a "person familiar" with the situation.

Mr Wang, who is seen as the second most powerful person in China after President Xi Jinping, arranged through an intermediary for a 90-minute meeting after learning that Mr Bannon was speaking on the topic, according to the second person, who stressed there was no connection to President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to China.

As the FT adds, the (not so) secret meeting between Bannon and Wang will "stoke speculation that the Chinese anti-graft tsar, who has purged hundreds of senior government officials and military officers for corruption in recent years, may continue to work closely with Mr Xi during his second term in office."

Under recent precedent, Mr Wang, who turned 69 in July, would be expected to step down from the Politburo Standing Committee, the Communist party’s most powerful body. But his many admirers argue that as China’s most knowledgeable and experienced financial technocrat, he should stay on to help Mr Xi force through a series of stalled financial and economic reforms.

Incidentally, before his appointment as head of the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, Wang was Beijing’s point man for Sino-US relations and has played a pivotal role in most of China’s key financial reforms over the past 20 years. And while Wang no longer has an official government position, he has continued to meet regularly with international figures such as former US Treasury secretary Hank Paulson, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde and the hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio. Earlier this week Wang also held an unexpected meeting in Beijing with Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong.

Ironically, while Bannon himself no longer has an official post, many pundits suggest that his influence on Donald Trump is just as expansive now that he has returned to run Breitbart, as it was during his brief tenure on the administration.  During last week's CLSA conference, Bannon said he left the White House to be Trump’s “wingman” and to campaign on behalf of congressional candidates who would back the president’s “America first” agenda. Furthermore, Bannon has long argued that the US needs to take a tougher economic stance against China, which he argues is responsible for the hollowing out of manufacturing jobs in the US.

To be sure, the topic of bilateral trade between China and the US has become as a core focus for the two nations. After Trump won the election, China frequently approached Jared Kushner to help "navigate the US-China relationship." But Kushner has taken much less of a role in recent months leaving Rex Tillerson, secretary of state, as point man. While the former Exxon CEO has been leading efforts to get Beijing to put pressure on North Korea, some Chinese experts have expressed concern that the administration does not have a clear point person to handle the relationship with China.

Trade will be a key topic as well this week, when Wilbur Ross, the US commerce secretary who worked closely with Mr Bannon to press for tougher trade measures against China, travels to Beijing to pave the way for Trump’s November summit with Xi. The trip comes as the US struggles to engineer some of the measures against China that Mr Trump talked about during the campaign and after his election. Efforts to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports have stalled amid concerns about the effect on the US economy.

In July, Mr Ross asked Mr Trump to consider a deal on reducing Chinese steel overcapacity that he had crafted with Wang Yang, a Chinese vice-premier. But Mr Trump rejected the offer and dismissed a second improved version, telling his commerce secretary that he wanted to find ways to impose tariffs on Chinese goods.

As for what Bannon discussed with Wang during the informal summit, it remains to be disclosed.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Akzed's picture

Why's it "secret," 'cause he didn't tell you?!

Life of Illusion's picture




Akzed's picture

Any port in a storm, I guess.

knukles's picture

So Bannon can meet with anybody he wants because he's a civilian.
Just the fuck like anybody else.

Jesus H Fucking Christ
Breaking News:  Live CNN:  Knukies just farted. 
And now back to our regularly scheduled perpetual 3 minutes of hate.

Manthong's picture



America’s second most powerful man meets in secret with China’s second most powerful man.

YUNOSELL's picture

He probably just went over to enjoy a friendly game of 4D chess

Kidbuck's picture

Reporters and special counsels need to hear, "None of your fucking business," much more often.

Anteater's picture

They are parking shares of China Steel in Bannon's stock portfolio

in return for Trump sanctions-easing, then Bannon will contribute

$1,000,000s to Jared Kushners Trump Super PAC, and thats how

these things are conducted. Meanwhile, China has also waived all

taxes and developer fees for Trump's new $4B hotel:casino project.

Make Almighty Greed Anonymous! WINNING!!

Freddie's picture

Jared Kushner-Soros?  I do not think he and Bannon get on. Bannon was the token goy.

dark pools of soros's picture

awwww MSM got no leaky in chinky town??

Freddie's picture

Where is America's "anti-graft tsar?"   I know it is not Trump or Sessions because they refuse to indict Ivanka and Jared Soros-Kushner's pals the Clinton klan.  Also the criminal Bush klan.

I wish America had an anti-graft tsar.  They would start in DC, the Pentagram, Wall Street, the Fed and the list is almost endless.


redmudhooch's picture

Wikileaks is holding back IMO, I'm pretty sure Assange has the goods to drain all of the swamp.

He does have a child, maybe thats why he hasn't released it? 

just the tip's picture

the work load after the first shift would result in only one action, cardiac arrest.

Gorgeous's picture

"Efforts to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports have stalled amid concerns about the effect on the US economy."

Learn from history much?



DemandSider's picture

A hackneyed and disrcedited defense of "free trade" with PRC's government owned manufacturing complex. In actuality, the last bill Hoover signed was the "Buy American Act" of 1933, which forced FDR's Kenysian spending to be recycled within the U.S. Had previous protectionists, starting with Hamilton, and later, Lincoln, not preserved American manufacturing and current account surplus, The U.S. would not have been in a dominant position until The Vietnam apocolypse lead to cancerous, and likely, terminal external debt.

Gorgeous's picture

My point of bringing up the bankers protest to Smoot-Hawley was not that it was particulary justified, but that when the bankers want something, and don't get it, there can be economic consequences.

I am all for surplus recycling to be contained within the US.  We have the economic diversity.  Government would have to kill the Unions and incentivise tax/regulation relaxed industrial zones.  The last person capable of killing the unions got Scalia-ed.

11b40's picture

You mean government unions?

DemandSider's picture

Heavily unionized Germany has the largest current accont surplus in the world. German law also requires that large corporations' boards have at least 50% labor representation. Unfortunately, American labor unions and corporate executives have often forgotten that, ultimately, their success depends on the competiveness of their product.

Public unions are another matter, though. Their fortunes are determined by their political clout.


Giant Meteor's picture

Hmmmm, here it comes ..

Chinese collusion ...

I for one will welcome the change, as Russan collusion is thread bare and worn ..

BigCumulusClouds's picture

I've always suspected Bannon of being deep state CIA or whathaveyou. After all he has never said anything about the WTC buildings being blown up on 911:

I guess that would explain secret meetings with the Chinese.

redmudhooch's picture

Breitbart are Zionists, Bannon included.

BigCumulusClouds's picture

The Chinese are going to back the renminbi with gold for oil sales:

I can't believe ZH isn't covering this story! It is only the hreatest piece of financial information since August 1971.

Herdee's picture

Bannon's about 40 years too late. The hollowing out of manufacturing in America made all the politicians rich because they pass the laws and trade on that inside information ahead of time. Washington is the ticket to get filthy rich trading on inside information but these scum bags have got the laws in place to permit that for themselves. Anybody ewlse goes to jail. Both parties sold out the American people to Communist China and everybody else. They're all the same corrupt group of whores that are bankrupting America today because it's all passed down the line.

Oldrepublic's picture

there are a lot of things that I do not like about the Chinese government, but I like its hard line on official corruption. According to this Aljazeera article, China has punished over 200,000 officials this year for corruption.

In 2007 it even executed its former chief Drug Chief

“China executed its former top food and drug regulator on Tuesday for taking bribes to approve untested medicine, as the Beijing leadership scrambled to show that it was serious about improving the safety of Chinese products.”  

DemandSider's picture

Yes, in The PRC, taking cash or technology out of the country is often punishable by death. In the U.S., treason is celebrated.

Xena fobe's picture

The corrupt ones were prosecuted because they were not sharing with those higher up the food chain.

Pernicious Gold Phallusy's picture

It's called an anti-corruption campaign but it's really getting rid of political threats.

pfwed's picture

so he goes from one meeting casually characterized as "behind closed doors" to another meeing breathlessly called "secret" ... is there something to see here? some kind of 'point'? ... even innuendo falls limp the way it's laid out ... ???

YesWeKahn's picture

Corrupted officials meet each other, what's the secrecy?

bardot63's picture

Bannon is a private citizen.  Runs a newsroom. Does the same thing the suits at CBS, NYT, NBC do every day.   He has every right to meet with anyone he likes. 

Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush's picture

Bannon is the one who fooled us all before the election. He is a real master of image manipulation. The secret is simple: always offer the media stuff that they cannot resist, because at least at first sight it looks discreditable to you, so they are motivated to dish the dirt on you. But it will rebound to your advantage, if you are following Bannon's strategy, because in the end, all publicity is good. People become fascinated by you, and the enigma that you appear to represent. Another master of this method was Malcolm McLaren, who even explained it gleefully to the newspapers and TV channels while he was doing it to them, and they still fell for it.

pc_babe's picture

AG Lynch held a secret meeting with Bill Clinton ... errr, move along

Xena fobe's picture

Probably on assignment on behalf of his old employer, Goldman Sachs.