Bloomberg’s business in China has grown. That could create unprecedented entanglements if he is elected president

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaking with attendees at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa.  August 10, 2019. Photo:  Gage Skidmore

By Michael Kranish 
Jan. 1, 2020 at 1:09 p.m. EST

Mike Bloomberg was presiding over his inaugural Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore in 2018 when, to the surprise of some in the audience, he gushed about one of China’s top government officials.

Vice President Wang Qishan was “the most influential political figure in China and in the world,” Bloomberg said, breaking from a prepared text that had said the keynote speaker was “one of” the most influential. Bloomberg noted that he and Wang had first met at Bloomberg’s home 15 years earlier, when he was mayor of New York and Wang was mayor of Beijing, and he praised the vice president for helping lead China “through a period of extraordinary growth.”

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