OK. I have a a few minutes to catch up on details. Where do I start? https://twitter.com/Comparativist/status/1322061899186368512
If you’re like me, your introduction to this saga was Trump accusing Biden of “taking money from China” at the last debate. It’s the 1st time I’d heard this didn’t know if Trump was improvizing his Biden lie-smears vs a pre-existing story in MAGA trash media. https://twitter.com/vladimi81231035/status/1319525879161249792
I missed the ‘Biden-Trump Dossier’ micro-story on Twitter two days ago. Both @BeijingPalmer and @BadChinaTake immediately suspected @BaldingsWorld wrote the whole thing. I shall now discover for you, dear reader, what this ‘dossier’ was alleging. https://twitter.com/badchinatake/status/1321297527853977601
This as the first tweet I saw mentioning any of this. When I realized it was *that* Balding, I almost knew enough. I muted him this summer when he turned into a COVID Truther. There’s a smallish circle of English HK/CN who’ve known each other online for years and maybe met 1-2x https://twitter.com/beijingpalmer/status/1321929012176932864
Balding’s time in Shenzhen overlapped w/ mine. He left for a uni job VN a few yrs ago. Before he left SZ he mostly ‘stayed in his lane’ & tweeted about Chinese macro-econ stuff and was taken seriously as an CN econ expert.
After he left China, his Twitter feed and [just barely, tbh] academic work was 100% devoted to ‘telling the truth about China I couldn’t say there.’ It was repetitive ex-China expat vibe for a bit, readable and sometimes informative.
One thing I picked up on very quickly in his post-Shenzhen social media rebrand was that he never criticized Trump over anything related to China or the econ. That turned into transforming into a full time Trade War cheerleader.
His tweets were a little unhinged before he went Full COVID Truther. In DM’s w someone else from Old Time CN/HK Twitter, which Balding is to, I mention that the only rational explanation I had was that he might be angling for a Trump WH job.
[redacted, but you follow] replied: “He’s actively trying to get a job in the Trump Admin. He told me several times. Including last time we met IRL.”

Every tweet, blog post, ‘research’ article since 201607 has been trying to catch Trump WH attention so he could land a job there https://twitter.com/Comparativist/status/1322096364709318656
[I will now read the dossier, but this is my experience with Balding. We were friendly enough to discuss meeting IRL before he left Shenzhen, followed each other for years, but the cynicism behind the COVID Truther stuff (he was proving his loyalty to Orange Man) crossed a line]
I’ve now skimmed it and it’s as bad as @BadChinaTake says it is (and sounds exactly like Balding). It’s barely about Hunter Biden at all and there’s no receipts for his supposed vast CCP-infused wealth. https://twitter.com/badchinatake/status/1321612431118999552
by all appearances, Hunter Biden seems to have built something of an international consulting and investment career out of nothing but his family name. He let people give him contracts and positions, thinking they were buying access to the VP. All they got was Hunter Biden though
“Mark Simon, an Apple Daily exec and GOP operative, commissioned Balding to write a Biden-China dossier for Apple Daily to publish as a ‘leaked document.’ They ran to Epoch Times and Bannon/Gui to boost their ‘HK media report’ far enough for Trump to use in the last debate.”
And the whole thing fell apart b/c Balding didn’t want his name on it, so pretended it was leaked from somewhere. And then invented both a company and a person that were quickly proven not to exist as the ‘leak source’ of what was obviously his own writing. https://twitter.com/comparativist/status/1322111329717514241
I knew this the moment it I realized the “Biden’s China cash” accusation Trump kept using in the last debates started with Apple Daily pushing out ‘documents’ and ‘research’ that started w/ Balding. This isn’t something Jimmy Lai could come up with

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