China’s richest man’s threat to Trump: 20,000 US jobs are at stake “should things be handled poorly”

Who’s the boss?
Who’s the boss?
Image: Reuters/Jason Lee
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China’s richest man Wang Jianlin has an ominous message for Donald Trump: 20,000 US jobs and $10 billion in investments are on the line “should things be handled poorly.”

Speaking at an entrepreneur meeting in Beijing on Dec. 10, the billionaire real-estate tycoon and new owner of the US movie-theater chain AMC Entertainment said he delivered the message to Trump via the president of the Motion Picture Association of America. Wang made clear he didn’t want any trouble, especially as congress reviews his acquisition of AMC—or more than 20,000 people employed by him “wouldn’t have anything to eat.”

Here are his full remarks about Trump from the conference:

Yesterday, I met with the president of Motion Picture Association of America who said he wants to meet with Mr. Trump and asked me what message I would like delivered. I told him to tell Mr. Trump that I have $10 billion of investments in the United States and more than 20,000 employees there who wouldn’t have anything to eat should things be handled poorly, and nothing else mattered. At least in the film and television industry, you must understand that the growth of English films depends on the Chinese market.

A former commander in the People’s Liberation Army and a member of an advisory board to the Communist Party, Wang’s comments are a direct counter to Trump’s brusque attitude toward China. Trump’s repeatedly accused China of manipulating its currency, has threatened to levy a 45% tariff on certain Chinese goods, and recently started suggesting he would the ”one China” policy as a bargaining chip in trade negotiation. In an interview with CNN on Dec. 12, Wang said he planned to continue investing in the US, but the pace would depend on Trump’s attitude toward the Chinese entertainment industry.