TECHNOLOGY

Mar-a-Lago has suddenly become a hot tourist destination for members of China's upper crust


The Chinese woman, who was arrested in Mar-a-Lago after being caught with nine USB drives and a USB stick containing malware, said US $ 20,000 for attending an event at the President's property in Palm Having paid Beach.

The alleged spy is not the only citizen of the People's Republic to have spent many yuan on the privilege of being in the White House of Winter – which could become a nightmare for the secret service.

The number of Chinese tourists willing to pay between $ 13,000 and $ 20,000 per ticket for events in Mar-a-Lago – tickets that normally cost $ 1,000 per inhabitant – has risen so much that the Shindigs often look more like a Beijing soiree than a charity ball in the enclave and in the president's private club.

Lexye Aversa, party planner in Palm Beach, told DailyMail.com: "The presence of many Chinese is simply" the new normal ".

From November to April, parts of Mar-a-Lago will be converted to host unusual fundraisers for nonprofits that support a range of causes. The number of Chinese tourists willing to pay top dollar to participate in these Shindigs has risen so much that the parties in Beijing often look more like soirees. Frequent party goers in Palm Beach state that they can pinpoint the date – February 25, 2018 (pictured) – and the event – a fundraiser for a pro-Israeli group called The Truth About Israel – when the upturn of the Chinese began to infiltrate the events

The “Truth About Israel” fundraiser last February (pictured) sold 500 tickets for the event - almost half of which were held by the Chinese

The “Truth About Israel” fundraiser last February (pictured) sold 500 tickets for the event – almost half of which were held by the Chinese

Last February, a fundraiser for a pro-Israeli group called The Truth About Israel sold 500 tickets to the event - almost half of which was held by Chinese. In tuxedo and long dresses and glasses from Veuve Clicquot, the guests mingled with republican greats such as the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis. Common Palm Beach party goers interviewed by DailyMail.com said they could pinpoint the date - February 25, 2018 - and the event (- a fundraiser for a pro-Israeli group called The Truth About Israel - that the Chinese upswing began to infiltrate events.

In tuxedo and long dresses and with glasses from Veuve Clicquot, the guests mingled with republican greats like the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis

Lexye Aversa, party planner in Palm Beach, told DailyMail.com: "The presence of many Chinese is simply" the new normal ".

Lexye Aversa, party planner in Palm Beach, told DailyMail.com: "The presence of many Chinese is simply" the new normal ".

Common Palm Beach party goers interviewed by DailyMail.com say they can pinpoint the date – February 25, 2018 – and the event – a fundraiser for a pro-Israeli group called The Truth About Israel – where the Chinese upswing began to infiltrate events.

Sid Dinerstein, a former president of the Republican Party of Palm Beach County, was there and said when he came to Mar-a-Lago for the party, the Versailles-like Donald J. Trump Grand Ballroom felt different than dozens of times. I had been there before.

"There had to be more than 200 Chinese there," said 72-year-old Dinerstein, a major conservative player in an area where President Donald Trump spends several weeks each winter.

"I had my $ 650 ticket for the event in hand when I came in, and I had to go back because I thought I was in the wrong place for a minute."

And after Dinerstein made sure he was actually in the right place, he asked the organizers about the dozens of well-dressed Asian visitors, many of whom didn't speak English.

I was told that Mar-a-Lago had suddenly become a tourist destination for wealthy members of China's upper crust.

"I was told that Mar-a-Lago had suddenly become a tourist destination for wealthy members of the Chinese upper crust," said Dinerstein.

“After Xi Jinping (Chinese President) had a summit with our president in Mar-a-Lago in 2017, it apparently became a thing for China's wealthy class.

“Somehow that night a couple of them got tickets and just showed up.

"A total of 500 tickets were sold for the event, and apparently almost half were held by Chinese."

In tuxedo and long dresses and with glasses by Veuve Clicquot, guests mingled with Republican luminaries such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who was then a US Congressman for the Governor's Villa, and Congressman Brian Mast, as well as foreign dignitaries such as Israeli Consul General Lior Haiat and former Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.

The conversation included a Michael Jackson impersonator.

"The choice of entertainment was a bit strange," said high-profile Palm Beach party planner Lexye Aversa, who helped put the wings together. "But the guests seemed to love it."

Republican donor Steven Alembik, who supported Trump and once had to defend a tweet calling President Barack Obama "Muslim n *****", organized the party for "The Truth About Israel", a nonprofit organization, whose mission is to "educate and educate the public about the facts of Israel in today's world," says his mission statement.

Sid Dinerstein, a former president of the Republican Party of Palm Beach County, said when he came to Mar-a-Lago for the party that "there must be more than 200 Chinese". The FBI is investigating two people believed to be promoting access to Mar-a-Lago in China, including Florida-based Li & # 39; Cindy & # 39; Yang (pictured far left), which was photographed several times in Mar-a-Lago

Sid Dinerstein, a former president of the Republican Party of Palm Beach County, said when he came to Mar-a-Lago for the party that "there must be more than 200 Chinese". The FBI is investigating two people believed to be promoting access to Mar-a-Lago in China, including Florida-based Li & # 39; Cindy & # 39; Yang (pictured far left), which was photographed several times in Mar-a-Lago

However, never before on this night of February 25, 2018 did the regular guests of Mar-a-Lago notice an influx of Chinese tourists at formal dinners in Palm Beach. "I don't know why they all showed up at this special event," said one guest, "and I have to assume that they don't really donate to Israel." But it's fair to say that Mar-a-Lago hasn't been the same since then. & # 39;

However, never before on this night of February 25, 2018 did the regular guests of Mar-a-Lago notice an influx of Chinese tourists at formal dinners in Palm Beach. "I don't know why they all showed up at this special event," said one guest, "and I have to assume that they don't really donate to Israel." But it's fair to say that Mar-a-Lago hasn't been the same since then. & # 39;

Republican groups and nonprofits based on conservative politics continue to use the venue - and unintentionally or unintentionally offer an opportunity for Trump-centered Chinese tourism and foreign visitors who are willing to spend between $ 13,000 and $ 20,000 for tickets to pay, which normally costs $ 1,000 per person

Republican groups and nonprofits based on conservative politics continue to use the venue – and unintentionally or unintentionally offer an opportunity for Trump-centered Chinese tourism and foreign visitors who are willing to spend between $ 13,000 and $ 20,000 for tickets to pay, which normally costs $ 1,000 per person

Alembik declined to answer questions about his Shindig and why so many foreign tourists were present.

Never before that night of February 25, 2018, however, did Dinerstein and other regular guests of Mar-a-Lago notice an influx of Chinese tourists at formal dinners in Palm Beach.

"I don't know why they all showed up at this special event," he said, "and I have to assume that they are not really donating to Israeli purposes." But it's fair to say that Mar-a-Lago hasn't been the same since then. & # 39;

Access to the 95-year-old estate, which once belonged to the Marjorie Merriweather Post grain heir, is limited to club members who now pay $ 200,000 to join, as well as family and friends of the members.

From November to April, however, parts of Mar-a-Lago turn into a catering hall for one of the most popular past times in Palm Beach – fancy fundraisers for nonprofits that support a range of causes for cancer, water purification, and drugs to rehabilitate.

Any such group could run a fundraiser in Mar-a-Lago as long as a club member vouched for it.

And before Trump became president, it was not uncommon for up to three large galas to be seen on the property on a given weekend, giving Mar-a-Lago a steady stream of income.

After his election and after nightmares in public relations such as Trump's mild reaction to racist tensions and the separation of immigrant families on the Mexican border, Mar-a-Lago has lost most of its charity business to another company on the street. the Breakers Palm Beach Resort.

Nowadays, however, republican groups and nonprofits that follow conservative politics continue to use the venue – and, unintentionally or unintentionally, offer an opportunity for Trump-centered Chinese tourism and foreign visitors who are willing to buy tickets that are normally Pay between $ 13,000 and $ 20,000 to pay Go for $ 1,000 per person.

The main prize, said Dinerstein, is that the Chinese show up on a night the president is here.

"After (Chinese President) Xi Jinping came to a summit with our President in Mar-a-Lago in 2017, it apparently became a thing for China's wealthy class," added Dinerstein. Pictured: President Donald Trump poses with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his women on their arrival at the Mar-a-Lago estate on April 6, 2017

The main prize, said Dinerstein, is that the Chinese show up on a night the president is here. Pictured: Trump is walking with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the grounds of Mar-a-Lago in April 2017

The main prize, said Dinerstein, is that the Chinese show up on a night the president is here. Pictured: Trump is walking with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the grounds of Mar-a-Lago in April 2017

"It's like they hit the jackpot," he said. “The idea of ​​being in the same room as a world market leader after a check is issued is a new idea for these people. Nowhere in the world, especially in China, is it as easy as in Mar-a-Lago. & # 39;

Trump was not there when Dinerstein entered the surrealistic scene in February 2018.

DailyMail.com contacted the White House and the Trump organization for a comment on this story.

However, Chinese tourists continued to show up in Mar-a-Lago until the recent incidents examined the access to the site more closely.

On March 30, a Chinese woman was arrested after being admitted out of the compound even though she was not a member, and the event, which she claimed had flown to Florida to participate, had been canceled.

Yujing Zhang, 33, was accused of entering a restricted area and providing false information. Until a scheduled third hearing before the federal court on Monday, she was detained without a guarantee.

Zhang, who has since been in federal custody and uses a Mandarin translator during the trial, is said to have told Trump employees she only wanted to use the pool.

She was allowed to enter the site and presented herself after a trip with an employee on a golf cart at a checkpoint for metal detectors.

There it became clear to the US secret service agents that Zhang allegedly changed her story about the reasons for her presence. She was allegedly in possession of four cell phones, an expired and a current passport, a laptop, an "external hard drive device" and a USB stick that allegedly contained malware but no swimsuit for the pool for court records.

She was grilled for nearly four hours by US intelligence agents who found more electronics, a spy camera detector, and over $ 8,000 in cash in her room at the nearby Colony Hotel for $ 350 a night.

FBI agents investigated the incident as possible espionage while Zhang was detained and classified it as a "serious flight risk".

Chinese tourists continued to show up in Mar-a-Lago until the recent incidents examined the access to the site more closely. Yang (far left) was also at the party on February 25, 2018 and posted pictures of the event on her Facebook page

Chinese tourists continued to show up in Mar-a-Lago until the recent incidents examined the access to the site more closely. Yang (far left) was also at the party on February 25, 2018 and posted pictures of the event on her Facebook page

The 45-year-old's name and connection to Mar-a-Lago came about because she was the former owner of the Orchids of Asia Spa, a massage parlor in Palm Beach where women provided sexual services that were said to be by the former New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft was supported. a friend of Trump. Pictured: Yang with Trump at a Mar-a-Lago Super Bowl party in February

The 45-year-old's name and connection to Mar-a-Lago came about because she was the former owner of the Orchids of Asia Spa, a massage parlor in Palm Beach where women provided sexual services that were said to be by the former New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft was supported. a friend of Trump. Pictured: Yang with Trump at a Mar-a-Lago Super Bowl party in February

Zhang's lawyers, meanwhile, claim she spent $ 20,000 on a ticket to an event in Mar-a-Lago that was once scheduled for March 30, but had been canceled without her knowledge a few days earlier.

Defense attorney Robert Adler said in court that Zhang was not a spy, but just a foreigner who had legally entered the country, was led to Donald Trump's by Donald Trump's staff, and had done nothing unusual while she was there .

The FBI is also investigating two people believed to be promoting access to Mar-a-Lago in China, including Florida-based Li & # 39; Cindy & # 39; Yang, who was photographed several times in Mar-a-Lago and even took a selfie with Trump during a club Super Bowl party, and Charles Lee, a businessman whose name Zhang mentioned in her interview with the Secret Service. Neither was arrested.

Yang was also at the party on February 25, 2018 and posted pictures of the event on her Facebook page.

The name of 45-year-old Yang and her Mar-a-Lago connection came about because she was the former owner of the Orchids of Asia Spa, a massage parlor in Palm Beach where women provided sexual services allegedly from the former New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft, a friend of Trump, was supported.

Yang and Lee caught the attention of the authorities with ads for wealthy tourists in China promising Mar-a-Lago visits and photos with Trump and his family members.

In a federal court in West Palm Beach on Monday, Zhang's lawyer provided a copy of Zhang's $ 20,000 transfer to Lee, which Adler said should pay for access to a party scheduled for the night she was arrested and was then canceled.

The photocopy of the transfer recorded in the court records was in Chinese.

Some of the ads for parties that appear in Chinese refer to Mar-a-Lago tickets for $ 13,000.

Dinerstein repeated Trump's claim that Zhang's arrest was a "coincidence" and not a shameful thing. He said the temptation of Mar-a-Lago not to spy was the only thing to do with Chinese tourists.

He also resisted when asked if greedy republican followers sell access to Mar-a-Lago to unknown tourists.

Yujing Zhang was arrested late last month after being admitted for Mar-a-Lago reasons, even though she was not a member, and the event, which she claimed had flown to Florida to participate, had been canceled . It was found with two passports, four cell phones, and a USB drive that a secret service agent had classified as malware when plugged into his computer

Yujing Zhang was arrested late last month after being admitted for Mar-a-Lago reasons, even though she was not a member, and the event, which she claimed had flown to Florida to participate, had been canceled . It was found with two passports, four cell phones, and a USB drive that a secret service agent had classified as malware when plugged into his computer

Zhang's lawyer, Robert Adler, said his client transferred $ 20,000 to Chinese businessman and party organizer Charles Lee (right with President Trump in an undated photo) for an event scheduled for March 30 that day , on which she in Mar-a-Lago

Zhang's lawyer, Robert Adler, said his client transferred $ 20,000 to Chinese businessman and party organizer Charles Lee (right with President Trump in an undated photo) for an event scheduled for March 30 that day , on which she in Mar-a-Lago

In this artist's sketch, Zhang (left) listens to a hearing on Monday, April 8, 2019, before federal judge William Matthewman arrested the 32-year-old woman in West Palm Beach, Florida on March 30, after she was told admitted by falsely telling a checkpoint that she was a member and wanted to swim

In this artist's sketch, Zhang (left) listens to a hearing on Monday, April 8, 2019, before federal judge William Matthewman arrested the 32-year-old woman in West Palm Beach, Florida on March 30, after she was told admitted by falsely telling a checkpoint that she was a member and wanted to swim

"There is no denying that every event organized in Mar-a-Lago brings in more money and brings more people than if it were even organized elsewhere," he said.

The local Republican Party, he said, hosted its annual formal Lincoln Day Dinner, the largest fundraiser of the year, in downtown West Palm Beach.

Then, three years ago, the dinner was moved to Trump.

"Ticket prices increased from $ 250 per person to $ 375 per person, and we were sold out within a few days," said Dinerstein. “Of course, the residents also like the place. Why couldn't there be people from all over the world attending a party in Mar-a-Lago?

It also has nothing to do with the Republican Party. Nobody I know sells access to Mar-a-Lago. & # 39;

For Aversa, the Palm Beach Society's party planner, the presence of many Chinese is simply “the new normal”.

"We all know the incredible scenario we are in with this presidency," she said, "and this takes it to another dimension."

While Trump and his family in Mar-a-Lago are under the protection of U.S. intelligence, the club's staff determine who grants access to the property.

As soon as someone has access, the secret service checks who is in the same room as the president.

After Zhang was arrested, the intelligence agency made a statement blaming the safety of Mar-a-Lago for the Zhang Snafu.

"The Secret Service does not determine who is invited or welcomed to Mar-a-Lago," the statement said. & # 39; This is the responsibility of the host company. The management of the Mar-a-Lago Club determines which members and guests are granted access to the accommodation. This approach does not offer individual proximity to the president. & # 39;

As soon as a guest was allowed to enter, Secret Service agents use magnetometers in airport-style controls to ensure that the guest is not carrying weapons.

Guests who are known to be planning to interact with Trump will be screened in advance by the Secret Service.

Palm Beach PR guru Lynn Aronberg, who organized a donation brunch for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society in Mar-a-Lago for $ 500 per ticket on April 14, said no one from Mar-a-Lago had any concerns of their event.

"You just signed up and paid for the food and drinks and the venue," she said. & # 39; It's really easy. I'll give them a list of the names of the guests a few days before and that's it. But I have not been contacted to get a large number of tickets for Chinese tourists. & # 39;

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