A Chinese bank has been offering its clients the chance to buy tickets to a dinner with US President Donald Trump for US$150,000, Bloomberg News reported Friday.
A Chinese-language invitation to the event seen by AFP, which did not include the hefty price tag, said the chair and finance chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) were “inviting you for dinner with President Trump” on May 31.
China Construction Bank told AFP that “some employees” at a branch in the southern tech hub Shenzhen had “passed on information” to clients about tickets to a dinner with Trump.
“Event information was pushed by individual employees (to clients),” China’s second-largest state bank said in a statement. “Our branch wasn’t involved.”
The invitations have raised eyebrows as US political campaigns are forbidden from accepting donations from foreign nationals or corporations.
But it was unclear whether any tickets have been sold in China to the event, which only individuals with a US passport would be eligible to attend.
Trump is expected to host a fundraising dinner with the RNC in Dallas on May 31, although it wasn’t clear if the invitations being circulated in China referred to the same event.
The Bloomberg News report said officials with Trump’s campaign and the RNC had no knowledge of the Chinese bank’s advertisement before being contacted by the press.
China Construction Bank said Friday its employees had received information about the event from the Chinese Entrepreneurs’ Association, a Beijing-based group of private businessmen, and a Shanghai-based travel agency, Visa Tourism Services Co.
The bank did not say whether its employees sold tickets or advertised them using the bank’s official marketing channels or their personal social media accounts.
Vvisa Tourism Services and the Chinese Entrepreneurs Association were not available for comment.
It comes despite the looming threat of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies, who have threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods.
China’s top economic envoy Liu He is currently in Washington to iron out trade issues with US officials.