by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Last month, the United States government issued sanctions against eight Chinese companies for complicity in the crackdown on Chinese Muslims in Xinjiang. As many as a million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic minorities have been “interned” — wrenched away from families and dumped into harsh detention camps that the government insists are merely re-education centers. In light of those sanctions, why haven’t the California State Teachers’ Retirement System and other American funds announced that they would stop investing in companies under sanctions? And why is the federal employee retirement fund poised to move retirement assets to an index fund that includes Chinese companies in 2020?
By any standard, China is led by an amoral dictatorship. In addition to the continuing horrors in Xinjiang, young people in Hong Kong fighting for freedom fear being brutalized by Chinese security forces. In the South China Sea, the People’s Liberation Navy has all but annexed a vast swath of other nations’ territory and international waters. Chinese companies, answerable to the Communist Party, probably have built surveillance into drones that Americans buy and telephones that are bought the world over. …
… American financial heavyweights and pension funds have in recent years shunned fossil fuels, guns and other investments on ethical grounds. Yet when it comes to providing capital to Chinese companies — including those directly engaged in surveillance or supporting the People’s Liberation Army — many haven’t resisted investment.