Globe and Mail

Two Conservative senators – one with close ties to Beijing – set up a private consulting business this year with partners who are involved in attracting investment from China to Newfoundland and Labrador, corporate records show.

Senator Victor Oh, who recently said he has not conducted any "personal business" in Canada or China since his appointment to the Red Chamber in 2013, formed a St. John's-based company in April with Senator David Wells.

Mr. Wells would not say whether Signal Hill Management is pursuing business deals with China-based entities.

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The two senators' business partners in Signal Hill Management are Frank Xiaofeng Huang, who once worked for Beijing's state-owned China Development Bank, and Jack Jun Tan. Little is known about Mr. Tan.

In February, 2017, Mr. Wells helped found the China-Newfoundland and Labrador Business Association (CNLBA), along Mr. Huang and Mr. Tan, according to corporate filings.

Mr. Oh is an unpaid "honorary patron" of this new group, his office said.

Mr. Oh, a Toronto businessman appointed to the Senate by Stephen Harper, is a frequent traveller to China and prominent at banquets and events in Canada where Chinese diplomats and Communist Party officials are invited guests. He has accepted trips paid for by the governments of Jilin, Hainan and Hubei provinces, as well as business groups and Chinese airlines.

Mr. Oh and two other senators are being investigated by the Office of the Senate Ethics Officer over an all-expenses-paid trip to China in April.

In a Dec. 1 e-mail to fellow senators defending his travel record to China, Mr. Oh wrote that "I have never conducted any personal business in China or here in Canada since my appointment to the Red Chamber in 2013."

The Globe and Mail has reported that since 2006, Canadian MPs and senators have taken 36 trips to China sponsored by arms of the Chinese government or business groups seeking closer ties and trade with the world's second-biggest economy.

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