The pandemic sweeping the planet has been made exponentially worse by virtue of the actions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This beast, which has victimized the Chinese people for seventy years, has now caused immeasurable damage to every nation on the planet. Americans, in particular, as they sit in lockdown watching their savings vanish and hoping to escape infection are newly aware of the horrible price they have paid for the Faustian bargain they made with Communism decades ago. Talk of bringing manufacturing home and boycotting Chinese goods is heard in every quarter.
And, yet, incredibly, as the tragedy unfolds and the size and power of the monster that is the Chinese Communist Party becomes clearer and clearer every day, there are those among us, even within our own government, who seem perfectly willing to return to business as usual and pretend none of this ever happened. Three years ago, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) made a decision to have its $50 billion International Fund mirror the MSCI All-Country World ex-U.S. Index. The change is scheduled to go into effect this year.
In practice, what this means is that the FRTIB will soon begin to invest its funds, the retirement savings of civilian federal employees and the uniformed military, in both the People’s Republic of China and some of its most dangerous and problematic companies:
• AviChina Industry & Technology Ltd (AVIC).: AVIC and its subsidiaries develop and produce aircraft, unmanned aircraft systems, and airborne weapons for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). AVIC and its subsidiaries have been repeatedly sanctioned by the U.S. for missile proliferation activities in Iran.
• China Industry Shipbuilding Group (CSIC): Naval equipment produced by CSIC includes: guided-missile destroyers, frigates, conventional submarines, nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems, and aircraft carriers.
• Hikvision Digital Technology: Hikvision manufactures video cameras and other security technology integral to the CCP’s surveillance state apparatus, its “social credit” system, and the network of large-scale concentration camps used to incarcerate certain religious minorities. Hikvision has been sanctioned by the U.S. government for human rights and other activities “contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.”
• Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation (ZTE): ZTE is a telecommunications company that has engaged in economic and trade activities in sanctioned states in violation of U.S. laws and regulations.
• China Communications Construction Company (CCCC): As of 2015, CCCC owned over half of China’s dredging industry capacity. Several CCCC subsidiaries have been observed conducting dredging (and other) activity in support of Beijing’s illegal island-building activity in the South China Sea.
• China Unicom: China Unicom is providing telecommunications systems to the contested Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea to service China’s civilian and military personnel and also reportedly to support signals intelligence activities.
• China Mobile Ltd.: China Mobile provides telecommunications services to illegal fortified Chinese-constructed islands in the Paracel and Spratly Island chains. In May 2019, the U.S. FCC denied China Mobile’s application to provide international telecommunications services between the U.S. and foreign destinations, saying it “raises substantial national security and law
• China Telecom Corporation: In April 2020, the U.S. government pulled a license from this Chinese telecommunications company’s American subsidiary on the grounds that it entailed unacceptable risks of Chinese espionage and disruption of U.S. networks.
In short, the FRTIB is getting ready to invest the retirement savings of our servicemen and women in advanced weapons systems designed to kill our people and support aggressive Chinese efforts focused on world domination. American funds will go to support the unlawful Chinese seizure of the South China Sea, its brutal treatment of the Uyghurs, and, incredibly, to help fund ongoing Chinese espionage operations inside the United States itself.
The insanity of this move would seem to be readily apparent to any rational American, and, yet, almost unbelievably the FRTIB as of this writing fully intends to press ahead and put the retirement savings it oversees into the Chinese market. The official FRTIB position according to its spokeswoman Kim Weaver is that all its peers are making similar investments and that it “would be a lagging outlier amongst retirement savings plans” if it did not expand its investments.
That’s one way to look at it. I’m sure there were similar arguments made in the runup to the Second World War as to why it just made good economic sense to invest in the Third Reich.
Here’s another way to look it. The Chinese Communist Party is an evil entity, which has oppressed its own people for seventy years.
It is not liberalizing. It is not softening. It is gaining strength and increasingly threatening the peace and security of the planet.
Rather than looking at this issue as a matter of making a quick buck, maybe the FRTIB ought to look at it from the perspective of all those federal employees whose funds they safeguard. They didn’t give their lives to federal service to get rich. They did it to serve their fellow citizens and in the hope they would leave the world a better place. A great many of them put their lives on the line along the way in pursuit of that goal.
Do you want to do right by them FRTIB? Put their savings to work somewhere else. Say no to investing in China. Stop feeding the beast.