US President Donald Trump has a Chinese bank account and spent years pursuing business projects in the country, the New York Times has reported.
The account is controlled by Trump International Hotels Management and paid local taxes between 2013 and 2015.
It was set up “to explore the potential for hotel deals in Asia”, according to a Trump spokesman.
Mr Trump has been critical of US firms doing business in China and sparked a trade war between the two countries.
The NY Times revealed the account after obtaining Mr Trump’s tax records, which included both personal and company financial details.
The newspaper’s previous reports show he paid $750 (£580) in US federal taxes in 2016 and 2017, when he became president.
The Chinese bank account has paid out $188,561 in local taxes.
Mr Trump has been critical of presidential candidate rival Joe Biden and his policies towards China in the lead-up to the US election, taking place on 3 November.
The Trump administration has singled out Mr Biden’s son Hunter and made unsubstantiated claims about his dealings with China. Joe Biden’s income tax returns and public financial disclosures show no business dealings connected to China.
‘Inactive’ office :
Alan Garten, a lawyer for the Trump Organisation, described the NY Times story as “pure speculation” and said that it made “incorrect assumptions”.
He told the paper that Trump International Hotels Management had “opened an account with a Chinese bank having offices in the United States in order to pay the local taxes”.
“No deals, transactions or other business activities ever materialised and, since 2015, the office has remained inactive,” Mr Garten said.
“Though the bank account remains open, it has never been used for any other purpose,” he told the NY Times.
The US president has multiple business interests both in the US and overseas. These include golf courses in Scotland and Ireland and a chain of five-star luxury hotels.
The NY Times reported that Mr Trump maintains foreign bank accounts in China, Britain and Ireland.