The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that more than 2,600 U.S. government officials traded in Chinese stocks, even if those stocks belonged to Chinese companies that were considered blacklisted.
Of these officials, 400 are employed by the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and the White House.
The WSJ’s report said, “The Defense Department was among the federal agencies with the most officials who invested in Chinese stocks, even as the Pentagon in recent years has shifted its focus to countering China.”
Officials in the Pentagon, State Department, and White House own stocks of famous Chinese corporations such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Sinopec, the giant company owned by the China Petrochemical Corporation.
Reed Werner, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for south and southeast Asia, and Jack Wilmer, former senior White House cybersecurity adviser, were among high-ranking government officials who traded Chinese stocks.
Werner owns Alibaba stocks when the Defense Department is discussing whether to blacklist the corporation.
Alibaba stocks rose 4% a day after the Pentagon decided to keep this corporation off the blacklist.
Three days later, Werner sold his Alibaba stocks just before the Pentagon resumed discussions about blacklisting Alibaba.